Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Meta-search and Business Travel

A lot of focus has recently been given to the meta-search engines such as Sidestep, Farechase, Kayak and Mobissimo. In fact the recent PhoCusWright Travdex conference was heavily focused on the topic of meta-search. Little attention has been given to the application of Web search technology to the business travel market. In fact there was no mention of meta-search at the recent ACTE conference. What impact will meta-search have on the business travel market? How does meta-search fit in with corporate self-booking technology. It is my belief that a segment of leisure consumers will embrace meta-search and therefore the impact of this technology will be felt on the corporate market. Travelers will use meta-search to compare prices against corporate self-booking tools and if they find better prices, this will cause some static. In a way self-booking tools that access multiple sources and use independent faring technology, such as Outtask's Cliqbook are acting as meta-search engines. The difference will be on the number and types of sources queried. The bottom line success of meta-search or multi-search corporate self-booking depends on the tool's ability to access full content (SWA, direct to supplier, multiple GDS) and provide the leisure and corporate traveler comparative shopping that is comprehensive enough that they look no further.

10 comments:

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AceMakr said...

I don't disagree about the value of the meta search engines but I do think the 'winner' will be the one that is able to add relevance to the results. There is just to much out there for it all to be relevant.

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