Dow Jones reports that a major player in travel, Sabre Holdings, has purchased the online travel community and searchable vertical database of travel reviews, IgoUgo, for an undisclosed sum in an effort to offer more travel info and also get involved with paid search.
Access to the IgoUGo database and community will soon be available on Travelocity.
According to the news release, Sabre will enhance the engine by developing its own vertical search technology.
“Developing a keyword search engine specifically for travel is a natural extension of Sabre’s 30-plus years of experience in travel search technology,” said Eric J. Speck, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sabre Holdings. “We have leveraged the skills of a very talented group of mathematicians who have previously established an expertise in solving complex travel-related algorithms to create this new search engine. Sabre Holdings plans to enhance the capabilities of the keyword search engine and then combine it with the plethora of real-time information in the Sabre system to enhance offerings from the company’s other businesses, including Travelocity and Sabre Travel Network… The enhanced IgoUgo site will enable Sabre to participate in the growth in paid search advertising.”
The Dow Jones story adds:
… IgoUgo won’t compete with Sabre online travel agent Travelocity, nor will it channel bookings to Travelocity, he said. Travelocity Chief Executive Michelle Peluso has declined to participate in the start-up search engines. She has said search engines tend to focus travel choices on price, commoditizing the industry at a time when airlines can least afford it. Further, she views search engines as competition, just like any other online travel agent.