Travel verticals and hotels

Microsoft’s on-off (and frustrating to them) pursuit of Yahoo naturally grabbed most of the headlines in the tech and business world. Meanwhile the tech giant has expectedly been active on other fronts. The Washington Post reports that Microsoft will announce as early as tomorrow “a new search advertising model tomorrow at the Advance08 Conference in Bellevue, Washington”. An initiative that at its core “will be a new set of 18 new vertical search offerings that will give users cash back on any purchases made from advertisers”. Among the verticals is Farecast, acquired by Microsoft only last month. What’s different about Farecast according to them is that it has “unique features to help you Know When To Buy™, When To Fly™, and Where To Stay™—all based on science, not marketing”. And its hotel component has an interesting feature named “Hotel Rate Keys” which “shows whether or not the rate for a specific hotel is a deal. It compares the individual hotel’s current rate found to it’s past rates”. And iif a city is not in Farecast’s current search list they simply add it. Prospective hotel guests who have been buffeted by yield management strategies of hotels can now at least hope to see if the rates are in line with previous cycles as well as compare across hostelries.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.