In the past five years, travellers have grown accustomed to booking flights on the internet. But the relative ease of online booking belies the fact that planning and organising a trip is often still an arduous, time-consuming process.

Hours can be spent trawling the internet searching for a suitable hotel; getting maps and directions to a destination; choosing good restaurants and sites to visit; and sending photos to friends later.

In the next phase of online travel, companies are trying to stitch together the disparate pieces of the travel process to make it more seamless and personalised.

They are expanding beyond simply booking travel to offering enhanced travel "experiences" through maps, reviews, local listings, photos and user-generated content such as weblogs.

The trend "fills the gap between what people might want from a travel agent," says Diane Clarkson, travel analyst at market research firm JupiterResearch. "That wealth of info has not been easily duplicated online."

Get the full story at the Financial Times