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Reuters Interview

Last week I was again interviewed by Kyle Peterson of Reuters. The article entitled : “Internet Travel Agencies Losing Some Luster” talked about the drop in stock price of the leading OTAs (Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity). My comments were primarily directed at the underlying technology and UI of these large players and the fact that there has been little innovation in the way consumers interact with OTAs in the last four years. With the emergence of Travel 2.0, the OTAs are starting to look like old school players. Their ability to embrace and integrate other sources of planning content is at the heart of my comments that OTAs “need to think of more creative ways for people to take advantage of all these new sources of information”. Most OTAs seem content to simply continue to push a model of a single stop shop. Finding a way to benefit from new Travel 2.0 trends such as vertical search, mash-ups, user generated travel blogs, picture tagging and collaborative planning tools is an essential evolutionary step for the OTAs.