Monday, 21 September 2009

Do travel websites inspire travellers or just the 'geeks'?

There's no denying it and increasingly no escaping it. The travel industry is obsessed with harnessing the infinite possibilities afforded by ever-evolving online technologies.

Just a quick scroll through the last ten minutes' worth of #travel tweets or a brief visit to a trusted travel website (be it traditional media or off-beat blog) would illustrate that point.

Currently everyone is talking about the use of sideWikis in travel sites, and there's a new business to business website ( for us to devour that's dedicated to travel technology news. And I'm sure that tomorrow will send me a link to another 'experience' website that can seemingly read my mind and sell me a holiday as I navigate through their inspiration pages doubt they'll be able to summon up my dream trip via the magic of algorithms and targeted marketing. Thank God for them! Without their site I'd be stranded, incapable of thinking and dreaming up my next adventure for myself.

There's certainly no denying that blogging, tweeting, Google maps mash ups, downloadable content and travel apps for smart phones have delivered a whole new source of relevant, instantly updatable information to techsavy travellers. Something that the travel genre is certainly richer for and something that I hope travel publishers in particular can increasingly invest in (if not monetarily, at least in terms of time and effort).

But my question today is - and I've Tweeted it too - can anyone point me towards uses of travel technology/online development that are truly inspirational for travellers (ie not just another way to increase sales of holidays and/or compete with other travel sites in the geek stakes)?
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