Without too much fanfare the Times Online website has relaunched today, including a vastly improved travel channel.
The redevelopment of the site follows similar moves by The Guardian - in December - and the widely anticipated new TravelMail site, home of all travel content and deals from the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.
News Corporation, owner of The Times newspaper and the buyer of MySpace for $580 million in 2006, has spent around £10 million on the relaunch of the entire site, including marketing and design.
A senior travel exec at one of the site's main rivals has taken a deep breath and emailed to say, rather kindly:
"Some good stuff in there – they have lots of scope moving forward and have covered the commercial areas very well."In recent weeks we have been highlighting what we believe will be one of the most interesting growth areas in online travel during 2007.
Traditional newspapers have a very interesting proposition over some of the other players attempting to create online travel portals. Reams of professionally written and decent content ("content is king", remember!), plus strong relationships with travel advertisers.
It is therefore absolutely no surprise at all to see media groups entering the online travel space with the obvious enthusiasm they are currently showing.
Kevin May, editor, Travolution