Travel Trends – Zicasso, Four Points, Google Search
Zicasso – Add one more travel site to your online planning schedule. Zicasso, the online travel planning site that lets travel agents compete for your business (think LendingTree.com), officially came out of beta on Monday. As you can see by a simple Google search, there is quite a bit of buzz about this new site. While we will not go into a full review of the site (take a look at the Google search results for additional reviews), this new offering is certainly a different angle on booking travel online. Personally, I like the idea, but it will be interesting to see if this takes off or simply moves to the end of a very long list.
Four Points – While browsing for hotels in Tucson a few weeks ago, I came across a very different execution for a hotel homepage. Plus, the team at Travolution acknowledged the site as well at PhoCusWright@ITB 08. Considering the typical look of a hotel / resort homepage, I initially thought this page was a mistake. However, as you can see on the site, Four Points simply directs the user immediately to the search function. No upsell, no affinity program to push, no tabs…you came to this site because you wanted to find a hotel, so here you are. Good stuff.
Google Search…in Search – This past week Google rolled out a little experiment it has been tinkering with, search boxes within search results. Take a look at it if you search for ‘amazon’ in Google. Notice that amazon.com is the top result and within that result is the option to search within the amazon.com site for more information on TVs, books, DVDs, etc. The additional boxes show up when ‘we (Google) detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site.’ Which means, like most things with Google, you cannot control it.