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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : May 09, 2007

Yahoo upgrades to user-generated travel info

Online travel hubs like Priceline, Expedia and Travelocity were the first to begin including more user generated content amongst their travel blogs, reviews and information. Now Yahoo has created a more user-friendly travel site, hoping to encourage more consumers - and advertisers - to use their hub to plan trips.

by Kristina Knight

The revamped travel hub now allows for behavioral targeting of ads in addition to user generated destination guides, reviews and other content. Yahoo also provides maps and instant messaging capabilities for travelers.

Perhaps the most interesting facet of the revamp is the "Today's Picks" section, which will give users 10 top destinations based on their past use of the site and on similar users' past activities. Site travel guides are also upgraded to include flight options from local airports.

Another facet that advertisers will like is the FareChase option, which allows users to book hotel stays directly from the site. FareChase also gives hoteliers better leads from Yahoo.

According to recent surveys, upwards of 80% of consumers expect to plan at least one vacation online this year. Over the next five years, travel revenue from online bookings is expected to jump $43 billion dollars to $128 billion. With more users headed online to plan their trips, travel hubs are pulling out all the stops to ensure they can get the information they need in one stop.

Tags: online travel, travel spending, user-generated

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