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Round-up of digital travel and tourism news for the week of April 29-May 5, 2013 

April 29, 2013 

A new baby delivered in online travel space

Harley Schachter and Tobias Zerr launched Travel Mindset. The new interactive travel inspiration website claims to change the way you will choose your next holiday. Have a look at the new travel inventory.

Changes in online travel search segment

Edleson, Harriet. (2012, April 29). Fewer, Bigger Travel Sites. The New York Times. 

This article reviews the online travel search segment. The segment highlights follow:

  1. The segment enters into the period of consolidation. The two leading online travel agents (OTAs) are acquiring smaller travel engines. Consolidation offers global travel search engines unlike previous regional engines.
  2. Hotels are not listing the unsold rooms on the online travel websites.
  3. The room tariff would vary from channel to channel unlike earlier parity deals.
  4. Growth in the U.S. online travel segment is slowing down.
  5. Generally, OTAs follow four accommodation models:

Conventional Brick-and-Mortar Travel Agent Model: An OTA, acting like a conventional brick-and-mortar travel agent, gets 5% commission from the hotel.

Auction Model: The model involves room auction. For example, the model of

Opaque Model: The model, followed by, does not reveal hotel brand to the consumer.

Merchant Model: OTAs purchase the room inventory from the hotel and receive 18-38% commission. Read the complete travel story.

May 1, 2013

Upgraded mobile travel app from TripAdvisor 

TripAdvisor, Inc. up graded the mobile application for mobile web and all popular platforms. The new app features options (1) to review attractions, restaurants or hotels not listed on the website, (2) browse prices in different currencies and (3) sharing travel videos on Android 2.2 and iOS6 platforms. Free new app can be downloaded from Google Play or iTunes Apple Store.

[Source of information: (2013, May 1). TripAdvisor Reveals Newly Redesigned Mobile App For All Major Platforms And Mobile Web. TripAdvisor, Inc. Retrieved from]

May 2, 2013 

Travel offers for IPL fans

The online travel agents (OTAs) introduced special offers to cash in on IPL mania. For instance, Goibibo rolled out Travel Premier League campaign featuring discounted domestic air tickets to the cities hosting IPL matches. MakeMyTrip unveiled “Toss Ka Raja” offer that includes a paid holiday to Hyderabad for the winners. The special campaigns may help OTAs in improving air ticket and hotel booking ratio from current 70:30 to 50:50.

[Source of information: Nair, Deepa. Ganguly, Nivedita. (2013, May 2). Travel Portals offer special treat for IPL fans. The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved from]

TripAdvisor acquires CruiseWise

TripAdvisor, Inc. acquired cruise booking agent CruiseWise, Inc.’s talent and technology. TripAdvisor would integrate acquired non-transactional assets and human resources with the Cruise Critic®. The integration would strengthen the cruise business of TripAdvisor.

[Source of information: (2013, May 2). TripAdvisor, Inc. Announces The Acquisition Of CruiseWise. Trip Advisor. Retrieved from]


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May 3, 2013 

Advanced technology to improve online travel experience

The Indian airlines and OTAs use advanced technology for enriching the online experience. Major technology improvements include:

  • Faster transactions
  • Online cancellation and re-booking
  • Mobile booking sites for smart phone owners
  • Ability to book air tickets for more than one city in one transaction

[Source of information: Sanjai, P.R. (2013, May 3). Air travel sites get more user-friendly. Live Mint & The Walls Street Journal. Retrieved from]

May 4, 2013 

Zucano teams up with Govolo

The Italian Zucano Technologies, a new social travel business, teamed up with the French Govolo, one of the leading online travel agents. Zucano travel community can thus book the trip after selecting the travel companion. The deal enhances travelers’ experience and gives more revenue options to Zucano.

[Source of information: (2013, May 4). Zucano Technologies Partners with Govolo/ GO Voyages for Selling Tickets Online. PR. Retrieved from]

May 5, 2013

Zahara unveils online travel souq featuring single window platform

Zahara Travel Group, the leading leisure and destination management company in the Sultanate of Oman, unveiled Otalati, an online travel souq (bazaar) featuring a single window platform. The comprehensive portal based in Oman allows purchasing all travel related services. The prices are quoted in Omani Rials. Travelers can use locally issued credit cards for the payment. The new travel meta search website offers services for destinations located within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other parts of the world.

[Source of information: (2013, May 5). Zahara launches Online Travel Souq with a unique single window platform. Zawya. Retrieved from]



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