Saturday, June 13, 2009

Travelocity APAC - Zuji get's new Boss - OTA media strategy


I picked up a story from The Boot (one of the blog's I regularly read) regarding the appointment of Roshan Mendis as the new President of Zuzi and the Regional Vice President of Travelocity Asia replacing Scott Blume previously Zuji CEO. There is a very confused interview by Siew Hoon with Scott Blume over at Web In Travel.


A couple of things in the interview got me thinking, one of those being his mention of the growth of the media model for Zuji, as with all the current crop of OTA's this hybrid model, transactional/media is very much on their minds. With traffic being so hard won and the value of their on line real estate being fully realised all OTA's are exploring how to supersize their ability to monetize their traffic.

A great example of this is on Travelocity.com in the states and lastminute.com in Europe with their Rate Finder application powered by sister company igougo this very simple application based on a tiny bit of java script pop's up when a search has been run offering the end consumer the ability to go off and search competitors for prices, I would have loved to have been in the office of Michelle Peluso when this idea was first floated. What is truly genius about this app is that lost traffic is lost traffic, monetizing that exit traffic works for both Travelocity ($ for each referral) and works for the competitor as the traffic is probably some of the most qualified out there.
Another interesting development in the media arena is the homepage takeover, not that this is particularly new but the takeover by Visit Denmark on Expedia is a little more far reaching. The deal see's a new partnership with VisitDenmark for the first-ever multi-country homepage spotlight campaign from Expedia Media Solutions. The Danish capital Copenhagen is currently being featured in advertising space on the homepages of Expedia sites in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The campaign is set to run for one week. Each of the participating Expedia sites will feature dedicated microsites that will allow Expedia visitors explore the Copenhagen art scene, learn about the city’s festivals and book specific travel deals, all on a single Copenhagen-specific microsite. Now whilst this isn't new for the larger OTA's what is interesting is that it's across so many of the regional sites at the same time. The media space is getting very busy.