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If you visit Sheraton.com , you will see something completely different from other major hotel websites. Instead of the usual advertisements for exotic locations and special offers crowding the home page, you are immediately struck by the phrase "Welcome to the neighborhood" in the center of your screen, and a U.S. map covered with pop-up photographs and the words "Your story. In your words." The photographs are all amateur, taken by Sheraton customers with no more travel logging experience than the average person. There are no actors or models masquerading as guests in these snapshots and they are not the views most hoteliers would choose to display. There are no wide-angle, enticing displays of guest rooms, meeting rooms, the lobby, the restaurant or the grounds.
The latest episode of RWW Live , today at 3.30pm PST, will be focused on online travel applications. We have executives from 4 great travel startups on the call: TripIt , Yapta , Dopplr and PlanetEye . In the show we'll be discussing how the Web is changing the way people travel for work and fun. It promises to be a fascinating discussion, so we hope you tune in to the show LIVE at 3.30pm PST Monday (6.30pm EST) on Calliflower or Facebook .
Booking methods depend on travelers' needs Suppliers seem to have won the battle for online leisure and unmanaged business travel market share in the US, according to December 2008 PhoCusWright data. Fully 61% of online travel sales are now made directly at supplier sites, compared with 39% for online travel agencies (OTAs) in 2008. This balance is projected to hold steady through 2010. Online travelers have learned to book their reservations on travel suppliers’ Websites to avoid intermediaries’ service fees and collect loyalty points.