Travel Trends – More .travel, All 50 States, Kayak

All 50 States – Forwarded onto me from Casey and the NCSTD State and Provincial Research Group (those research folks, always finding the good stuff) comes Christian Watson’s un-scientific review of all 50 state travel websites. A very interesting read even though it was posted in January (yes, those that have redesigned sites, he is reviewing your old site). Additionally, please remember that this is just one person’s opinion of your site…specifically his opinion on ‘if your site would encourage a visitor to actually visit your state.’ A limited question, but probably one that many consumers ask themselves. What is really telling about this post are the comments on the blog and the comments on the related digg article.

Here are some of my favorites:

‘ how come idaho’s website isn’t shape like a potato’

‘ Lovely website but just show me the darn pictures so I don’t have to mouse over each one.’

‘as for hawaii – i dont even think they -need- a website to get people to visit…’

‘Go Kentucky!!!!’

‘These sites are created by government slugs commanding other government drones. ‘

‘ Who avoids a state because of it’s website? That crosses a geek line that borders insanity.’

Good stuff. Congrats all you government slugs on your fine looking websites!

More .travel – Another note on the .travel discussion we have been having over the last few weeks on the Travel 2.0: Interactive Trend Report. This summary, pulled from the Travel Advance email, comes from and suggests that my opinion on the new .travel regulations is one shared by many member of the travel industry.

Tralliance Changing Dot-Travel Rules
Tralliance, the company that controls the dot-travel Internet domain, is introducing several controversial policy changes designed to bring more Web traffic to dot-travel sites. The new policies, which remove some restrictions on who can own dot-travel domain names and impose new rules on registrants, were approved by The Travel Partnership Corp., the domain’s advisory and oversight body. The policy shifts, some of which are fundamental, will take full effect in January. But one change–doing away with priority registration of place names once reserved for countries, states, cities or other destinations–became effective Dec. 21. The changes have been greeted by surprise and uncertainty by the associations and other professional organizations that, until now, have been responsible for authenticating which registrants are legitimate travel entities and thus eligible to hold specific dot-travel domain names.

Kayak Buys Sidestep – For those of you who keep an eye on the travel meta search world, industry darling and popular travel search engine Kayak is purchasing a chief rival, Sidestep, for a reported $200 million dollars (insert Dr. Evil voice here). What I find interesting from the article is the revenues that these two companies are (reportedly) pulling in…$50 million for Kayak and $35 million for Sidestep. Sounds like a good time to be in the travel business.

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