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Travel sites being bought By Expedia and Priceline

A decade ago, online travel generally meant reserving airplane tickets on niche Internet sites such as Expedia and Priceline. However, the proliferation of travel sites required each site to differentiate itself from competitors.

For NewYorkStay.com, the site chose to adopt a two-fold strategy to generate business online. The firm surveys all available accommodations in the Big Apple for tourists, longer-term visitors, and even local citizens looking to stay near the city.

By focusing on the best fit for its audience, the site had to narrow its search efforts to local businesses. Those visiting New York can find rates and room information for hotels, vacation apartments, corporate apartments, mini-hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts. The site also features temporary lodging such as privately-owned apartments offered on a nightly basis.

There’s a trend going on in the online travel search business. Websites are consolidating with major players such as Expedia and Priceline buying smaller search engines. (The latter is buying Kayak.)

Similar to the newspaper business, localized travel sites are harder to dislodge because of their superior surveys of their own market. They are experts of their own domains. The basic model of search engines is not only to show the consumer as many options as possible, but to show the audience the best deals in town.

NewYorkStay.com is one of the web properties of WorldEscape Group which has carved its niche in the vacation accommodation business. WorldEscape operates over 200 travel related sites covering nearly every major city around the world.

Each year, consumers are spending more of their dollars through online bookings where queries via search engines provide them with more information with which to make a shopping decision. Offline purchases through a travel agency can be more expensive due to the overhead and added labor costs traditional providers have to pay for.

Website portals need to convey great and useful information to its targeted market which can be accomplished relatively cheaply. To obtain SEO results and increased web traffic, travel sites need to be highly credible in the eyes of Google. However, a good amount of traffic typically translates into attractive levels of monetization and conversion.