In the past week or two I’ve noticed a couple of very interesting things in the area that I think is becoming one of the hottest in travel – how to inspire travelers and influence them earlier in the travel buying process. The two innovations I am referring to are Kayak Explore and TripAdvisor Trip Friends. Both are trying to become more relevant earlier in the purchase process, but both are coming at it from very different angles. In some ways, travel inspiration and reinventing travel search are two terms that are starting to converge; Kayak are using a technology driven cache based approach whilst TripAdvisor are relying on the wisdom of crowds and a more human search to inspire.  

I’m trying to think how the recent moves from Kayak and TripAdvisor affect their positioning on the above diagram. I did get a couple of good comments when I first published this diagram, so I’m also trying to see if I can incorporate those ideas into any subsequent work in this area. First thoughts are that TripAdvisor are moving in a south westerly direction on the above map, and Kayak may be moving south, but I need to do some more analysis before I’m ready to change the initial diagram. Regardless of how the competitive landscape is changing, new initatives leading to company repositionings will continue to make this a very interesting space to watch.