Monday, August 13, 2007

Travolution Award for Blatant Self Promotion Goes to...

...Times Online Travel Section.

Hot on the heels of the 100 Best Travel Websites just two months ago, the Times Online travel team has assembled the Top 10 Travel Websites!

And rubbing shoulders with the likes of EasyJet, TravelSupermarket, WAYN.com, Laterooms, Worldweather, Simplyparking, Multimap, TripAdvisor, Expedia is, er, Times Online Travel.

"Yes, we’re blowing our own trumpet here. But where else can you find more than 5,000 skilfully written and carefully researched travel articles, all easily searchable?

"Once inspired, you can also find exclusive deals on thousands of hotels, villas and apartments. And if you want the latest travel blogs, webcams, websites and internet booking tips, you can check out Timesonline.co.uk/onlinetravel."
Oh dear.

Certainly the Sunday Times wouldn't score too highly if users wanted flight and hotel search tools like those on its bitter rivals, the Guardian and Telegraph (both of which use TravelSupermarket), or TravelMail, the travel portal for the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday.

And perhaps there has been a change of heart in the newsroom about one of the Top 10. In October last year the Sunday Times ran a full-page expose about TripAdvisor and other user review websites, claiming hoteliers were posting hoax reviews.

The piece sent the likes of TripAdvisor into a rather understandable tizz after it emerged they had actually been trying to help them out with the story.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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7 comments:

Sam I Am said...

Sjeesj, not one original entry there either. You can see these guys don't have a clue what they are doing and are just picking 9 of the most popular/known sites to highlight (their creativity really ran out when it came to the tenth, he?!). It'd be a fine day when they actually went out, did some research and came up with a list of sites that are great for a reason, not just because they are already known. Most unorginal link baiting I've seen in a long time!

Travolution Blogger said...

Sam I Am: Lists are lists are lists. Consumers love 'em. I am sure they did some research and this is a Top Ten appropriate for their readership. Still not sure what readers will think of their self-promotion though. :-)

garethkthomas said...

Can't blame them for being blatent - I read an article in the Sunday Time recently about holiday rentals where they suggested one of the best websites to list with was holiday-rentals.co.uk

What they didn't mention was that they had direct links to this site. I think they might actually own a stake in it - but don't quote me on that.

Travolution Blogger said...

GarethKThomas: As far as we are aware, Times Online (or its parent company News Corp) does not own a stake in Holiday-Rentals.co.uk.

garethkthomas said...

Quite right - my mistake - apologies.

Here's the official press release to avoid any confusion (and to avoid me getting into any trouble!).

http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/index.cfm/tgt/press.htm?leftnav=about_us_left_nav_inc#June2007

Colin@senduspacking said...

I noticed that the Times have also been sticking the boot into certain Gap year companies offering volunteer experience(full front page exclusive on Tuesday 14th Aug) only to subsequently run a substantial piece today (16th August) on where students can find the best gap experiences as part of their pull out university special.

The Times must have had very little other news to print on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I agree - quite interesting to also see sites like WAYN.com who are more a travel community than a pure travel site no?