A new beta travel site from Jasons. Interestingly they are targeting Australia and the South Pacific as well as NZ.
They have 168 listings for Wellington.
Vianet, Trade Me’s Travel partner, has 80.
However, Jason’s site only displays 10 results at a time, doesn’t map them at all.
The battle is on. My money (and I am quite biased) is on Trade Me. Their site will be easy to use, easily findable and deliver the most traffic.
One point that needs to be clarified is that Jason’s is only a directory website, not a specialised online booking website. Yes, they offer the ability to book with instant confirmation, but there are very few actual properties utilizing this service and they are hard to find on their website.
Harder still, is to find rates for any particular property on the Jason’s website. As you have pointed out quite rightly you have to scroll through each ’10’ per page and you are basically searching by brand rather than by rate. Customers who view online now book online and if they can’t see rates they will go to another website.
In regards to the Vianet/Trademe partnership. Trademe are good at online auctions but they do not know the New Zealand travel industry. They want to be all to everyone rather than specialising in what they are good at. Yes, they will get high traffic initially, but just like the jobs market, they will fall back behind the specialized sites (in the case of jobs, this is Seek). Websites like Ezibed.com, Wotif.com and Ratestogo.com will always continue to thrive and expand as these businesses are well established, know the industry and know what people want. Fairfax (owner of Trademe) are there to make a quick buck and they will make big statements like “we have over 1000 properties”, but how many of those properties will actually be able to manage and keep updated their rates and availability. Advantage existing players, I say.
will be very interesting to see how this pans out for TM. from my own experience in online travel, I’m leaning towards agreeing with Jarod.
getting real-time booking truly working for the consumer is not so much a matter of the technology. much more important is the reliance on all the operators keeping their details up to date… and its hard to incentivise them to do so if they’re not keen in the first place…
i think something like totaltravel.com would be a safer bet.
all that said, i haven’t actually taken a good look around vianet’s current offering yet, and can only assume that TM will re-engineer it substantially – so good luck to them!
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