online travel (26)

Planning Your Honeymoon Via Review Sites: the Top 5

9296616886?profile=originalphoto: Isamare

Your dream trip may be a relaxing getaway or an adrenaline fueled adventure, but no matter your destination, make sure you get the vacation you deserve by thoroughly researching your options. Reviews by previous guests can help you make informed decisions and can take some of the guess work out of picking the perfect location, so that you can have an unforgettable honeymoon.

Whether your ideal vacation is at an all-inclusive tropical resort or a quiet bed and breakfast, there a

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Moving Past Dedicated Travel Review Sites


Certainly this is not to say that powerhouse, dedicated review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor will soon be obsolete, or redundant. But as travelers increasingly use ratings and reviews less to research a trip ( or product/service), and more to actually buying, the importance of broad-based, dedicated rating sites may be declining. 


Customers are now going directly to those websites that post reviews from multiple sources, especially from their own customers, thus reducing the clout of broad

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Christopher Elliott, as usual, provides special insights into the "blending" of online travel agents and the impact on travelers. In the Seattle Times, he suggests that Travelocity's "strategic marketing agreement" with long time competitor Expedia could give consumers more travel choice. Or, he suggests, it could create some sort of travel agency monopoly, inevitably raising prices.

While the travel industry is not long on similar examples, Elliott refers to the $1.8-billion dollar purchase

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Are Social Media Travel Sites a Bust?

9008791075?profile=originalThe header at Hotelmarketing  was pretty blunt: social media travel sites are screaming for attention-but users and suppliers are not impressed.

According to the latest PhoCusWright data, social media in general generates so little traffic to travel websites it makes anyone wonder if there really is a need for "dedicated social media sites for travel."

In an earlier post at New Media Travel,  we argued that travel marketers were in fact wasting their time on Facebook and Twitter.

Now this rec

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Data Darwinism: Of Survival and Reviews


Reviews do matter, but what seems to matter more is who writes them, and the question, can they be predicted?
And it seems Airbnb is saying, "yes."

Booking an Airbnb place anywhere can be a 50-50 proposition, but it's the very unpredictability and rich individuality of each place that makes the stays (and the site) so undeniably attractive. 

In a delightful comment, GigaOm, a data science and social web site, says reviews do indeed matter more and more because we are in an age of "Data Darwini

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The Perfect Travel Website


Seeking the perfect travel website is a bit like seeking the Holy Grail. A long, usually fruitless endeavor.

But if the perfect travel website is ever built, we're pretty sure "they will come."
And maybe the website that Fi designed is it.

For now, at best, most if not all travel web sites are pretty "ho hum," especially airline and hotel websites. At worse, they are an insult to easy access and intuitive interaction.

Or as as Hotelmarketing acerbically points out, travel websites pretty much

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USAToday reported that online travel companies "lag behind e-commerce delivering a positive consumer experience." No surprise here.

For anyone who has tried booking travel that involves a flight more complicated than flying from Point A to Point B, the explanation is obvious. And it's obvious even for those who travel only from Point A to Point B.

Using one of the many flight-finding, online travel agents or tools, is a horrific process. Nothing seems to work simply.
Posted pric

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Hotels live and die by the number and kinds of reviews they get. Especially on TripAdvisor, because the quantity, quality and frequency of reviews a hotel receives there, determine a hotels  all-important ranking.
Very little is said about the authenticity of a review, but regardless, even a small change in TripAdvisor's rankings can send shock waves, and deeply impact a hotel's website and revenue. points out that TripAdvisor's rankings are based on a propriety algorithm cal

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How Will Google + and Panda Affect Travel?  was pretty blunt in saying that Google +, in conjunction with Panda updates, “could be the biggest shift in search since it took off 13 years ago.”

Up to now the mysterious ways of Google’s algorithms  were the greatest source of digital traffic to travel companies and their web sites or content pages.

They were their business lifeblood.

It now seems the search paradigm has changed.

The presence of the +1 button (on Technorati’s content
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How Badly Did TripAdvisor Blunder?


The case involves Mr. Ziggy Hussain who runs the popular Ziggy's Spice House in downtown Halifax (Nova Scotia), Canada.

According to the Halifax Courier, TripAdvisor summarily removed 280 reviews after its "fraud detection system indicated suspicious activity."

The result: Hussain's restaurant was demoted from the number one position in the town to the bottom of the list. Worse, TripAdvisor actually claimed the restaurant was engaging in "criminal activities" by breaking the law in publishing fr

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"Big Data" derived from social media has almost become a buzz word in decision-making, product-innovation circles. Now, a report coming out of Amadeus, a technology company that provides IT solutions to the travel and tourism industry, says that Big Data is poised to "shape the future of the travel industry."

Travel would not be possible without Big Data, says We use it every time we get a boarding pass, check the weather for a destination, use our cell phone internationall

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9008771252?profile=originalWill Google harness its awesome search capacity, plus its Youtube, plus social indicators from a person's searches to make travel suggestions and shape travel experiences? And book travel too.

We say, yes. It says "yes," too.

It's widely accepted that travelers are seriously unhappy with online travel agents (OTA's) - the big-box airline ticket aggregators like Expedia and Priceline.

The reasons are obvious: OTA's are complex, complicated and have no flexibility to address a traveler's speci

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In a relatively recent article that proved very popular with readers and travel industry pros, New Media Travel asked, "Why Are Hotel Websites so Boring?"

We had our own theories, especially the one that said hotels do not want to offend certain potential customers by showing, for example, mixed-race couples or, say,  real families having fun. These latter images might offend childless guests.

We also argued that hotel websites need to use more video...whatever it takes to create an emotionally

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In essence, travelers will create and share their own travel experience. They, not tourism officials or travel writers, will shape and determine the nature and quality of travel.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis , Director of the eTourism Lab at Bounemouth University (UK) , tells us what we already intuit: the world "is going to be totally interactive, using personalization, context information and inter-connected devices" that will change the face of travel, already a dynamic, fragmented industry.

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Searching for a hotel online is actually more complex than, say, searching for a flight or car rental or even Viagra. A hotel stay is more of an emotional experience than flying somewhere. To go from New York to London, is simply to find the most convenient, and best-priced flight.

Choosing a hotel  is choosing a home away from home. It's actually a place where you live for a while, and often with someone you really care about.  It's an emotional experience. Flying isn't. Hopefully.

So, you ha

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What would you guess most determines how we choose a hotel? Price? Location? Recommendation by a friend or someone else?

In a connected social media world, it's surprising to discover that what our friends, and friends of friends recommend, say on Facebook or other sharing platforms, counts for only 6.8 % in determining what influences our hotel choices.
"Past experience" weighs in at 11.9%.

In truth, according to what actually influences a hotel choice is location.
For exa

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Location-Based Mobile Brands on Demand

From NMT Images
Location Based Mobile Brands on Demand

Location-based marketing or geo-location allows a business to “capture a customer” when he or she is near a place of business creating, what the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) calls a “here and now experience for consumers”...meaning, delivering real-time calls to action to buy, explore or just engage customers.

It’s what they’re now calling “brand on demand.”

A lot of the talk about location based services h
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We hope so.

When New Media Travel spoke to the owners of 40 Putney Road, a Brattelboro, Vermont,  B&B,  we were curious about  how this new brand of innkeepers was using social media to build a loyal client base.
Inn owner Tim Brady said something very interesting.

In a discussion about TripAdvisor and its huge influence on hotels, inns and B& B’s, Brady said that he’d rather have his guests tell him, directly, what they liked or didn’t like about staying at his place.

He made a lot of sense. A

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The Tourism Website Traffic Question


Here's another key question that I have been hearing a lot (both in emails and the comments on this blog) and give you a couple more examples of social proof (video testimonials). The question is this:

“What about traffic to my web site?”

In other words, how do you get people to your website?

This is a great question, and I am really pleased that so many of you are asking it – it shows that we have some really sharp readers.  :-)

You see, in the beginning of the Internet, we were in the “build it and

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A Girl For Every Port

by Heather Cassell

Published: Ocotber 3, 2011


Founder of Tanya Churchmuch dines at her favorite Paris restaurant, Le Chartier.
Photo Credit: Carrie MacPherson

An avid worldwide traveler, Canadian Tanya Churchmuch wanted more from lesbian travel guides, but couldn't find what she wanted.

"I was somebody who always traveled a lot and always became frustrated by the lack of useful information for lesbian travelers that was available," says Churchmuch, a former broadcast anchor and inter

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