Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Travolution - SOLD!

A few weeks back the Travolution Blog decided to take a look at what online auction house Ebay was doing in the travel arena.

Part of this was to illustrate – or poke fun at, perhaps – to those who had reacted with gushing reverence to a fantastic piece of PR at a recent industry event: that Ebay is, in fact, very much in the travel space already and is not about “enter the travel market”.

So, using Ebay’s travel channels, which already exist with all the functionality a travel provider could ever need to offload stock, we put the first, and now, limited edition of Travolution up for sale.

We admit that deep down it was a crushing blow to sell the item for only a measly £1.04 to Ebay user “Threlu” [come forward, stranger, you are now officially our biggest fan!].

But what our little experiment demonstrated is the potential Ebay has to make serious inroads into the travel arena – with a little bit of trade marketing, of course, which is exactly what the company was doing for free a few weeks back.

Tour operators, accommodation providers, if they wanted to, could easily use one of the most powerful and widely recognised sites on the internet to shift inventory.

What the barriers have been so far are difficult to determine – though the actual concept of an auction, with no guarantee of a decent return or a sale at all, is probably one of the main reasons.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what other activity Ebay will use in the coming months to further plug its travel channel to the industry.

[See our original post]

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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