Expedia is looking at ways of using bloggers to help drive its travel sales, according to a report.
US site businessweek.com claims: ‘Expedia, the biggest online travel agent, hopes bloggers can serve as an important plank in its effort to re-engineer the way people shop for hotel and airplane tickets by incorporating those transactions into a marketplace driven by social networks.'
It quotes Joe Megibow, vice-president of Expedia US, who said: ‘If our goal is to get closer to travellers...bloggers are a very interesting place to us.'
The report says Expedia sees bloggers as ‘an untapped resource' and says the company invited several influential bloggers along to a meeting in Seattle recently to outline its plans.
According to businessweek.com, Douglas Quinby, a senior director for travel research firm PhoCusWright, believes Expedia's plan is a viable one.
It quotes him saying: ‘Think about what Amazon has done around personalisation and recommendations. And we see nothing like that around online travel.'
The report continues: ‘Expedia's goal is to make planning the entire trip - from flights to hotel to transportation, with even restaurant selections and amusement park tickets - an integrated shopping experience.
‘Say your family is planning a spring break trip to Orlando. After booking flights, your hotel search would incorporate friends' views on particular properties.
‘If your cousin's family has been to a particular restaurant, you'd get her recommendation or caution.'
The report adds Expedia also wants to incorporate post-trip Facebook photos into its plans.
Click here to read the businessweek.com report in full.
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