Web 3.0 & Yahoo! Travel
April 25, 2007: Strategy consultant Sramana Mitra analyzes the Yahoo! Travel site based on his Web 3.0 framework formula, concluding that the site is heavy on content, but light on personalization.
Yahoo! has been lagging in community features and in its Yahoo! Travel site, it tries to do a decent job of integrating consumer generated media like reviews, RSS Feeds, message boards and Flickr. Flickr is an interesting integration as it allows users to share their travel photographs. This is Yahoo! Travel’s most powerful repository of user generated content, and creating better ways for the travel community to engage around it would be an excellent leverage.
Yahoo! Travel offers personalization through My Yahoo! It enables users to plan their trip, check and track their reservations and travel profiles, receive emails and alerts on various travel destinations, fares and newsletters, sharing of trips, etc. The site also allows users to copy and customize someone else’s trip plan.
Nonetheless, there is no personalization based on travel styles (luxury, backpacking, culture, outdoors, romantic bed&breakfasts), budget ranges, amenity requirements, etc. Paper travel guides have always provided this sort of segmentation information. However, online has the unique advantage of providing search and personalization facilities, which so far remains unaddressed. It is also Yahoo’s greatest opportunity for strong differentiation in a market landscape that is fast standardizing.