During the past few months, BCD Travel, GetThere and Rearden Commerce have rolled out features, such as improved search capabilities and easy access to content, that meet the new specifications of Travel 2.0. An application of Web 2.0, Travel 2.0 enhances the online experience by making it more interactive through the aggregation of disparate information sources. TRX also is moving to adopt the 2.0 specs into ResX by January and American Express plans to do so in 2007. Still, Travel 2.0 is not without its hurdles. As the specs are applied, the ability it eventually could offer travelers to generate comments about suppliers may have unforeseen implications for travel buyers and their travel programs.

Web 2.0 uses technology based protocols to display information from multiple sites and categories and lets users organize that information in different ways on the screen or do more flexible searches. Common consumer examples of Web 2.0 include the social-networking Web site MySpace and YouTube, which allows users to post and watch videos via the Internet. In the travel sector, many industry experts point to Travel 2.0 examples in Web sites like Farecast, which uses predictive modeling to advise travelers when to book flights to get the best price and the search engine Kayak, which presents a matrix with fares culled from all the major carrier and leisure booking sites.

"The full deployment of Web 2.0," said TRX president and CEO Trip Davis, "is when the user has more flexibility in the navigation and in searching and as a result reduces the steps to search, reserve and book and reduces the time to make a reservation." Davis said that the industry is in the earliest stages of deploying Web 2.0 and that there is still room for interpretation for the specifications regarding Travel 2.0. Davis said in addition to concerns about how the spec becomes standardized, there is a cost. "Any time you are writing code, it is a major investment," he said. "For any company that decides to embark on a 2.0 interface, it requires a significant investment and good planning and process mapping."

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