Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Travolution@E4T - Buzz over Boo appears justified to some

Maybe it's decent PR and the fact that many industry watchers are curious as to why on earth a company would resurrect the name of one of new media's most famous failures.

But has made quite an impact in the three or so weeks since it banished its previous fashion retailer image to Dot-com Bust Hell, to emerge as a very Web 2.0-led travel portal.

So not a surprise to see the Boo stand attracting a fair bit of attention today.

Earlier, Boo's chief marketing officer, Niamh Ni Mhir, told delegates during a session that its method of reviewing was how consumers will want to learn more about a product.

Boo believes that only by seperating out reviews into those posted by friends, trusted bookmarked users and then the wider community, will consumers really value user generated content.

A lesson many believe for TripAdvisor to learn from as it looks to counteract increasing concern over the sheer volume of reviews some hotels currently have against them.

Ni Mihr admitted later on that the initial PR buzz generated at launch had subsided, but traffic is "at the levels we anticipated" for launch.

With a flight meta search tool coming within weeks, powered by TravelFusion, Boo's growth over the next six months will be watched very closely by rival travel portals and the likes of TripAdvisor.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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