Tuesday, February 05, 2008

++Big story: TripAdvisor snaps up HolidayWatchdog.com++

A lot of digging about yesterday but weve uncovered this rather interesting story.

TripAdvisor has bought travel and hotel giant HolidayWatchdog.com.

The point here is that two of the UK's biggest independent travel review sites, HolidaysUncovered and HolidayWatchdog, are now in the hands of big multi-national travel brands.

[The former was bought by TUI Travel last year]

Will consumers care?

Indeed, much is being made of how little will be done initially to the HolidayWatchdog site. So users may not even realise.


Kevin May, editor, Travolution


Darren Cronian said...

I could see that one coming, and I am pleased for Chris and his team because I now how much hard work they have put into building Holiday Watchdog. I’m looking at this negatively though, because two large travel brands Expedia and TUI now own two review sites, which in my eyes should be independent.

Money talks though and who would blame them for taking the money, most of us would.

Rob Simons said...

After Wikitravel and World66 "joined" InternetBrands in 2006 I had a similar feeling, these review sites should really remain independent. How can users trust a travel guide that is mixing up commercial (read paid) content with user generated content?

Like Wikitravel and World66, HolidayWatchdog and HolidaysUncovered loose a good deal of credibility in my oppinion.

Travolution@TTS2008 said...

Great feedback - how worried are we about bias when, if you believe tripadvisor, consumers are good at spotting what's real and what isn't?

Linda Fox, lead reporter, Travolution

Rob Simons said...

Good point Linda, there is no doubt that seasoned internet users are getting better at ignoring advertising. But apparently users are still clicking, if the advertising would be totally ignored, they would not put it on the website. So the question should be: what does content which is not real, contribute to the user experience? In my opinion it only pollutes the content and misuses the trust of the users.

I anyway think that any product based on user generated content should not have financial profits as one of its main goals. It is inevitable that in the longer run big-business motives will have their effect on product development choices and thus the user experience.

I am not saying that a website with user generated content should not have revenue models, not at all. They should rather be implemented in a less-conspicuous way, not as an eye catcher on the homepage when the main goal is to allow users to share their honest travel tips with other travellers.