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Thursday, January 05, 2006

[Technology] Internet Travel

Remeber the days when you scrambled thru local coupon or the thick AAA travel book to find the best hotel deals in town but also worried that you may end up with no place to stay? Or trying to make thousands of phone calls to find the best airfare to Hawaii?

On my recent 7 days trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, booking the flight, finding a decent hotel and reserve a Alamo sadan, which normally would take days to finish was done within 30 minutes. Of course the can't miss Luau show hot seats are reserved as well. So now day's of planning ahead cut to hours and I get to spend more time comparing the photos of each hotel and reading previous visitors reviews instead of relying on the text and diamond counts on the side showing the grade of the hotel which isn't too useful.

Welcome to the world of cyberspace. Now people are so dependent on the internet for travel booking and planning that they probably wouldn't know what to do if you told them to do the whole travel booking process from scratch. It would be just like telling people to ride bike instead of driving a car.

Online travel planning has become a crucial and successful internet business which brings people more convenience - the bottom line for the survival of internet companes. And it should be an industry where you should take a look of. Here are some companys engage in internet travel industry:
  • Expedia Inc. (EXPE): three of the big online travel booking agencies previous under Microsoft. The company has been traded on Nasdaq for half year and the stock price hasn't changed much.
  • Sabre Holding Corp. (TSG): you probably have no idea what Sabre Holding does but what if we say Travelocity.com? The parent company of Travelocity.com also owns Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions. The travel booking site is one of the three main travel booking site beside Expedia and Priceline. Stock has show strength as it has been on rally since November of last year.
  • Priceline.com(PCLN): can't skip the company if talking about online travel booking. The Norwalk, CT based firm was making buzz on its innovative idea of "name your price" type travel booking. The stock has been fluctuating between $20 to $25 range for past two years and may need some breakthru to push the stock higher as the competitions are still intense.
  • Travelzoo Inc.(TZOO): the New York based firm publishes travel offers from various travel companies. The company generates revenue from advertising charge adn pay-per-click travel search engine. The service is free for internet user. The stock is trading near 52 week low of $22 per share, down from near $100 per share earlier last year. Recet movement suggests the stock could be on bullish trend again.

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