Travel Sites Strive To Differentiate Via Value-Addeds

by Karlene Lukovitz, Friday, Mar 23, 2007 5:00 AM ET
PRICELINE’S ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK THAT it’s
adding free-access Zagat hotel reviews to its site is another sign of
value-added escalation in the fiercely competitive online travel
bookings market.

Competitive pricing remains a given–"It’s what I call ‘the ticket of
entry,’" acknowledges Randy Wagner, CMO for Orbitz Worldwide. But while
continuing to go head-to-head on pricing via a cornucopia of deals and
methods, the major third-party/consolidator sites–plus a growing
number of specialized and meta search sites, not to mention stepped-up
branded hotel and airline sites–are increasingly employing value-added
services to get consumers beyond the dollar signs and hooked on using a
favorite site.

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