Priceline introduced Zagat ratings sometime back in an attempt to leverage the world’s best known reviewer. Now Yahoo answers, the largely successful community-building-question & answer technology is available to travel agents and operators hoping to offer travelers added value through user-generated responses to questions. Answers has 100 million users worldwide and apparently, travel is the question uppermost in people’s minds! Unlike the inane and often directionless chatter in chatrooms, Yahoo answers aims to brings together inquisitive minds and intelligent responses. Responses are rated and “best answers” are chosen to resolve questions. This kind of technology adds value when users need quick responses. International tourists and first-time visitors for instance could pose questions and get information not available elsewhere. Like word-of-mouth referrals and user reviews, real answers from real people carry more weight with the travelling public!
The travel site of tomorrow is all set to become a roaring avenue for self-expression and sharing! Companies need to carefully define website goals while incorporating the exciting new technologies of web 2.0.