Making Last Minute Travel Easier

The rising popularity of online travel planning has made every element of the organizing experience easier from research and coordination to deal-seeking and booking.  Over time the big online travel agencies (OTAs) like Orbitz and Expedia have even gotten better at allowing users to organize more complex itineraries including multiple destinations, hotels and rental cars

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The Future of the Online Travel Industry

The online travel industry is one of the most competitive of any that I think exist online or offline today.  In a market previously dominated by two or three players, the rise of travel aggregator sites such as Kayak and Sidestep has made travel an even greater price-driven commodity.  These aggregation sites are increasingly becoming

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Starwood Launches a Katrina Online Relief Auction

I recently came across a great travel/advocacy campaign sponsored by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (up from October 20-27).  Taking the idea of donating your frequent flier miles to the next stage, the site features an online auction with more than 800 travel related items including a "Carolina Getaway with tickets to a pro football

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Hyper-Targeting and Why TV will Lose Smart Advertisers

Orbitz Chief Marketing Officer Randy Wagner says [in this week’s BusinessWeek article – "Cable’s Big Bet on Hyper-Targeting] reaching consumers with ads they won’t skip is a priority.  She likens the goal to Amazon.com’s strategy of recommending products based on past purchases.  "It’s so relevant, it feels like a service instead of selling." I had

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Online Moms and Travel Booking Online

On my way to a meeting in New York yesterday for a client in the travel industry, I started to consider the convergence of research reports that I have seen recently on both moms and travel booking online.  A Disney-commissioned audience segmentation I read some time ago noted the following key segments of moms: "Tech

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Orbitz is down – CRM opportunity?

Orbitz.com is down – an extremely rare event for large ecommerce sites these days.  I’m sure there will be articles in the coming days about the real cost of this outage for Orbitz.  And at this point it’s still down with only their admission that "We are aware of the problem and are working to

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