Friday, June 09, 2006

The Travolution Guide to travel on Ebay

With the weekend almost upon us, the sun shining here in the UK, and the England football team just three matches away from an early exit in the World Cup, we thought it might be a good time to have a little fun.

The cue for this: a collective rush of blood to the head among assembled hacks and travel execs earlier this week at an industry conference.

Online auction powerhouse Ebay is to make its presence felt on the travel industry, most of those present managed to deduce in some way or another following a debate on Monday.

The reality is that Ebay has been trying for years to stamp its already enormous online presence on the travel market, but without huge success, apart from in a few individual countries such as the US, where it hired the help of a small and unknown online travel agent called Expedia.

Of course some might argue that the actual “news” is the fact that Ebay is doing a fine job of creating PR about its travel category on the site in order to get people and the travel industry to use it.

So what can consumers buy, or travel companies sell on Ebay at the moment – and have been able to do so for quite a while?

The answer is actually pretty much anything. Hoteliers can sell rooms; tour operators can sell holidays; airlines can sell flights; shipping companies can sell luxury cruises.

There is actually an interesting discussion to be had about whether a non-travel internet company like Ebay can have a serious impact on the status quo.

But to demonstrate how easy it is to get up and running, Travolution has decided to sell a travel product on Ebay. The perfect travel accessory: a copy of Travolution!

Users can find this very limited edition of the first Travolution [1.0] in the travel section on Ebay.

Travolution was able to pick and choose how many pictures it wanted to include in the auction and also a suitably – and somewhat dazzling – travel-related wallpaper background. Travel companies, with the time and also some expertise in HTML, can actually create quite a decent advertising platform for their products.

[See the page here]

In the meantime, the auction ends on Thursday 15 June at 9am. Proceeds from any sale will, obviously, go to a suitably good cause.

[At the time of publication, our mint condition, limited edition magazine had actually received two bids, with £1.04 GBP already under the hammer]

As they say in Ebay world: Happy bidding!

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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