Yahoo personalizes online travel planning
Yahoo launched a new personalized version of its travel planning website on Wednesday that merges online community, bargain hunting, and Internet mapping technology.
Yahoo Travel makes trip recommendations based on each person's history of activity at the website and shares recommendations and detailed itineraries of users with similar interests.
"We want to fundamentally transform the way people plan and research their trips," said Yahoo Travel director Jasper Malcolmson.
"By tapping into the collective intelligence of other like-minded travelers, there is a greater ability to plan and take truly memorable trips."
Travel Guides at the website compile information about prospective destinations and Yahoo's FareChase software scours the Internet for hotel and airfare deals.
The Sunnyvale, California-based Internet firm created a "plug-in" bit of software to enable people in different locations to use Yahoo Messenger to book flights online together in real time.
And a software prototype that allows real world maps showing terrain, streets and buildings to be layered with Yahoo maps revealing directions, landmarks and business is making its debut on Yahoo Travel.
Website users will be able to "tag," or label with descriptive words such as "romantic," itineraries that will be kept for others to reference.
"It is all about a site you can go to get inspired," Yahoo Travel product manager Fiona Lake Waslander said.
"We can't find another travel website out there doing this kind of personalization."