Travel Search Used By Few But Will Grow & Kayak Gets Top Honors In Review

A new report finds few use travel search engines but that declares the area
set to grow. Meanwhile, an recent review gives Kayak top honors when pitted
against some competitors.

Marketing Pilgrim, a new report

US Travel Consumer Survey 2006

from Jupiterresearch found that “only four percent of online
travelers say a travel search engine impelled them to plan or purchase their
most recent trip.”

David Schatsky, president of Jupiter Kagan said:

 Travel meta search engines are now offering expanded products and
several have relationships with major distribution partners such as Yahoo!,
AOL and Amazon. With this, travel meta search engines are poised to grow.

I agree with David, that meta search engines are poised to grow, but of the
deals mentioned above, I only think Farechase
really benefits.

Kayak, which powers Pinpoint Travel shows
up for many searches on AOL, but Travelocity still powers
AOL’s travel channel.

SideStep signed a deal with Amazon
, but Amazon’s travel section is so hidden
that I doubt it’s driving much traffic. There’s potential for both these
relationships to develop into something more meaningful for all parties, but at
this point,
the FareChase/Yahoo! integration has much bite

In separate news,

Review: Kayak Best Travel Search Engine
from the Associated Press is a
bold headline, covering Kayak getting top honors in a face-off against several
meta search engines.

The writer puts the search engines through a number of hypothetical trips
(unfortunately, only looking at flights, not hotels) and says: most often had the best fare six times while Yahoo came up best
or tied five times. Mobissimo was on top four times, and SideStep Inc. tied
for first once.

The writer was also very impressed with the features/UI on Kayak.

For a different perspective, BusinessWeek Online’s Sarah Lacey wrote a review of Kayak earlier this week with the title Kayak: A Step Behind SideStep. Everyone has an opinion.

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