This new crowd, led by TravelPost.com of San Francisco and 43 Places of Seattle, has no intention of ending up like online travel guide busts of the past.
The lure is to provide information about travel destinations and services and then either provide that service directly or refer users for a fee to someone that can. The payoff is a trade sale to a giant such as Seattle-based Expedia, Sabre Holdings (the owner of Travelocity), Priceline of Norwalk, Conn., or Cendant of New York, which owns Orbitz.
Shank says the extra features will be the telling difference. “We’re going to have an element of personalization that competitors don’t have,” he says.
TravelPost provides hotel reviews and ratings from readers, as well as a simplified way for readers to post travel journals, photos and itineraries. TravelPost also offers general geographical information and a forum for travelers to give advice.