- Reuters, Monday, November 28, 2005 10:49 AM
Analysts are saying that online travel search is an overcrowded market. They say that younger start-ups, in particular, have little to no chance of survival without making significant partner deals.
The problem is that these sites, which all claim to lead consumers to the cheapest fares and the best hotel package deals, do not actually sell tickets or make reservations like established
aggregators Expedia and Orbitz. These online meta-search sites, which present users with a composite of ticketing options from different providers, are failing to gain any traction with consumers,
analysts say. Industry executives say the key to survival in such a heavily commoditized market is through partnerships with big-name travel suppliers and other service companies. Companies like
SideStep, which announced deals this month with Hilton International, Amazon, and American Airlines, are leading the way. According to Forrester Research, travel has been the largest online sales
category, and is expected to total $63 billion in 2005.
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