Innovation in travel online

August 16, 2007

Is quite a rare thing. Usually the innovations that we see in travel websites is fairly conservative and not really pushing the boundaries of what is possible online. Take Opodo’s new EscapeMapTM for instance, while extremely useful it’s hardly groundbreaking and far more sophisticated mash-ups have been produced for other industries by kids working on their home PC’s.

Online travel is such a massive vertical on the web that it always amazes me that we’re not at the cutting edge of web production and innovation. From a booking point of view of course we are fairly sophisticated, and yes travel companies are early adopters of Web 2.0 and social networking ideas, but they rarely deliver all that much value and are often just to prove they can do it (basically gratuitous).

However, STA Travel are storming ahead with their new set of widgets which are an excellent addition to their really rather good website. The widgets are available for PC, Mac dashboard, Google desktop and even Facebook. And they’re really useful and compelling little tools that fit with their target demographic very well.

Good work STA Travel! Now come on all you tour operators and online travel agents, let’s see something a little more innovative than a Google Earth layer!

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One Response to “Innovation in travel online”

  1. Brandon Watts Says:

    It’s interesting that you mentioned widgets and travel because we’re currently trying to expand our community of travel blogs that have installed AutoRoll.

    AutoRoll is a blog widget that displays links to blogs that are similar to yours, and the more travel blogs that use the widget, the better the travel results will be.

    The travel community is certainly developing quickly, and so are the online tools that are available to them.

    Brandon Watts
    Criteo Evangelist


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