Travel

Battle for the Hourlies: Hertz Seeking ZipCar Customers

In late 2008, Hertz entered the hourly car rental market with a service called Connect by Hertz.  Recently Hertz re-branded the service as “Hertz on Demand,” eliminated membership fees, cut hourly rates, and expanded the types of vehicles available through the service.  All of these changes are aimed squarely at zipcar.  For example, zipcar charges a $60 annual fee to take advantage of their service.  Why rebrand and cut fees? 

Google & Zagat: Batman & Robin

Google just announced it is acquiring Zagat Survey (Zagat), a historic and significant player in the restaurant review space.  The purchase is another component of Google’s growing travel-related arsenal and also supports its focus-local efforts.  Zagat notes that its “commitment to accuracy and fairness” is consistent with Google’s and that together Zagat and Google will make a “dynamic duo.[1]”  Compete reviewed recent results for zagat.com with context to inform what

FAA Airline Tax Holiday

One result of the recent government budget crisis was that the FAA temporarily lost its authority to collect certain taxes from the airlines, including a 7.5% federal excise tax on domestic travel.  The result was a temporary and partial airline tax holiday. Airlines could have passed the benefits on to consumers as lower fares.  Most did not and instead kept fares flat (raising prices to offset the missing taxes), pocketing

Destination France: 2011 Recovery from 2010 Volcanic Eruptions and Pension Reform Strikes

I’m starting my last couple of weeks here in Nice, France and I’ve been thinking about the booming tourism industry for Americans here in Europe, particularly in the south of France. 2010 was undoubtedly a difficult year for the travel industry in Europe. The volcanic eruptions from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull last April put a damper on the travel plans of many when strong winds pushed ash clouds from the eruption toward Europe

Forget the Bahamas, I’m Going to Space

Unless you’ve been living under a (moon)rock, then you are well aware that Friday, July 8th marked the last launch of NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis. After 30 years of space exploration and discovery, Atlantis is making its final mission STS-135 to the recently completed International Space Station. This moment in history is a heavy weight to bear for many Americans. We have invested not only a large amount of resources

Are We About to Witness an Evolution in Online Mapping?

Over the years, various online services have dramatically impacted the travel industry, simplifying far more than just the booking process.  The ease of online travel agency sites and the proliferation of travel deal sites have helped ameliorate the hassles associated with researching and booking travel online.  But online mapping websites have historically been the tool of choice for travel details, such as researching the location of a restaurant or attraction,

Rebels with a Cause

Motorcycles are commonly associated with rebellion. But instead of standing up to “The Man,” our data suggest that this year, consumers may be rebelling against “The Pump.” The national average price for gas has increased by nearly a dollar since the beginning of 2011 and reached the second-highest price ever in April. At the same time, searches involving “motorcycles” and visits to their manufacturers’ sites have risen dramatically. The rebels

Weather or Not

Although spring is upon us, many still remember this past winter, which for many parts of the country was among the worst on record.  And anyone traveling during those storms is all too familiar with the blizzard of delays, cancellations, and related lost business. Winter: Web Wins Compete leveraged its ability to survey the digital general population by asking consumers about how they see last winter’s weather impacting future travel

Digging for a Deal: Today’s Air Travel Environment Means High Flying for Aggregator Sites

Recent data released by American Express Business Travel reports that the average price paid for a flight during Q4 2010 was up 7% versus the same time period last year. Ask the airlines, and they’ll tell you this is due in near entirety to rising operational costs, specifically the price of oil. And with crude prices increasing an additional 21% during Q1, it’s no surprise that ticket prices continue to

The Flashy Side of Online Travel Deals

Compete recently authored two blogs on the Future of Daily Deal Sites in general.  The Travel industry has its share, too, including LivingSocial’s Escapes product.  Some, such as jetsetter.com and tablethotels.com, are travel only while others (ruelala.com and livingsocial.com) are more retail-oriented but have added travel.  Many of these sites are affiliated with much larger and more familiar brands such as TripAdvisor (Sniqueaway), Travel + Leisure (Vacationist), and the Gilt

Online Travel Sites Set a High Bar

Many industries leverage websites to engage consumers, build relationships and of course sell goods and services. The online travel ecosystem is diverse, including suppliers (such as hotel chains and airlines), third-party sellers that sell or at least let consumers compare multiple brands (including online travel agencies), advice and commentary sites, and many others. The diversity reflects that billions are spent on travel each year. The downside is that travel is