In the world of online travel, Kayak is getting on in years. The travel metasearch engine unveiled a new, fresher look today and a more comprehensive hotel search product.
Kayak’s homepage is now refreshingly sleek. There is are a few fields for entering necessary data, like location and dates, and then the search yields relevant results. Now the hotel search will feature aggregated user rating scores, review summaries, and verified reviews from well-known travel sites like Travelocity, Expedia, and Priceline.
Kayak integrated with “reputation data management experts” TrustYou to provide sentiment analysis. TrustYou analyzes hundreds of millions of reviews of over 400,000 hotels worldwide to give help hospitality businesses stay in control of what people are saying about them on the Internet. There are dozens review sites out there, as well as social media conversations, and TrustYou aggregates this information and makes sense of it using semantic technology. Kayak will leverage this data to give consumers greater insight into the quality of hotels.
Online travel is a huge Internet industry, both in the U.S. and in emerging markets. 148.3 million travel bookings are made online each year and almost 40 percent of online travel sales come from hotel reservations. 81 percent of trailers find user reviews important and 49 percent won’t book without reviews.
Hotel rooms are expensive and a good hotel room can make-or-break a trip. People looking for accommodation, above the basic motel or low-end chain hotel, want to know they are spending their money well. Hotel search and booking sites are extremely popular as a result. There are the big, legacy guys like those listed above, but smaller companies like Hipmunk and Nara are taking on hotel search, as well as startups in emerging markets, such as Jovago and Hotel Urbano.
There is a lot of travel information out there, and Kayak is extending its core principal of metasearch to provide more nuanced information about hotels. The new aggregator will analyze millions of verified reviews to provide percentages of sentiment on the hotel, location, room etc…Along with the new and improved look, Kayak is looking pretty good for its age.