Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rumblings in Metasearchland

Is the world of price comparison websites about to become one of the most competitive markets in online travel?

The evidence so far: Yahoo! is continually making improvements to its Kelkoo price comparison site; so is Cheapflights; and has been signing up new inventory at a rapid rate this year.

In March, – specialising in package holidays – entered the fray a few months ago with bold ambitions of its own.

Within weeks of’s arrival, launched a major TV advertising campaign – its first above-the-line marketing push.

A few weeks ago the same site unveiled a package holiday search tool of its own.

And at the end of this month, will unveil a TV advertising campaign of its own.

[Read the TV story here]

Firstly, traditional advertising die-hards will highlight the irony that sees online companies using something as “old media” as TV to attract consumers.

But the fact that at least two of the Meta search operators – one clearly bigger than the other at this stage – are turning to TV advertising could be seen as an indicator of how far the market has come in still a relatively short space of time.

But if the Meta search market is the Next Big Thing, as so many industry figures seem to suggest, this will not be the first time there is a similar glut of activity.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the constraints of metasearch is that its still focussed on finding product. (Which is to be expected, as this is where most of the money is to be made at the moment).

Finding product works fine for flights and hotels - where the product is what people are looking for - but still disregards the proportion of the potential customer base (B2C) who are looking "for travel ideas", and are not yet looking for something to buy. i.e. those in research mode, not buying mode

Metasearch may be the next logical step in online travel evolution, but it won't be the last step.

Alex Bainbridge
Travel UCD