Friday, August 01, 2008

Word of Mouse- The Latest Trend in Online Travel Planning

Social networking sites have infiltrated various businesses to link together professionals around the world. For the business professional who physically travels the world, social networking sites are making researching details of their next business trip just a click away.

According to the article Advice From Strangers from the Business section of the New York Times, “Word of mouse is the latest trend in on-line travel planning, and a variety of corporate travel companies are setting up networking sites in hopes of becoming the Facebook of corporate travel.” Expedia, American Express Business Travel, and Orbitz are all announcing their new offerings this month.

Egencia, the fifth-largest corporate travel company in the world, is working closely with Expedia’s non-corporate travel planning assets to provide information to travel planners such as, the best and worst of airline seating, TripAdvisor’s City Guides, and a mass of hotel reviews from a variety of sources.

The on-line travel networking tools are “in the very, very early stages of development”, but can offer efficient advice in planning and booking. Furthermore, the networking sites such as skylounge.com, can connect business travelers with related interests and improve the somewhat random networking opportunities at major trade shows.

Ivo Sluiter, who is a skylounge member and director at an on-line energy trading company, confirms that the site has helped him get more out of trade shows. “I can see who is there and prepare product information.”

For more about networking sites as up and coming trends for online travel planning, read Claire Atkinson’s article Advice From Strangers.

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