Travel 2.0 describes the second wave of travel information Web sites.
What makes Travel 2.0 different from the first, booking-oriented wave (e.g. Expedia, Kayak, AA.com) is that it is crowdsourced, fully interactive and aids travel planners in making decisions via user-generated content.
A Travel 2.0 site is structured to allow users to contribute words and images, reviews and travelogues. Consequently those who visit a Travel 2.0 site can glean multiple insights about a destination, hotel, or other aspect of travel.
The term Travel 2.0 was coined by PhoCusWright, a company that specializes in travel research and hosts top-level business conferences for travel innovators.
Several Travel 2.0 sites encourage visitors to add their own videos. Travel wikis, mashups, and blogs that enable comments also are considered Travel 2.0. For contributors there is no compensation involved, other than the satisfaction of seeing one's words or images on a public Web site.
For couples planning a vacation, a Travel 2.0 site offers them the opportunity to see and read about places other travelers have been to and recommend. There is a downside: Life is short, and how much of it can you devote to reading about or watching other people's amateur videos? On the other hand, you may discover tips you won't find elsewhere — and later you can have the fun of creating your own content for the world to view.
If you'd like to know more about Travel 2.0, explore the sites below, where you're welcome to join the conversation:
Travel 2.0 Web Sites
The original travel 2.0, site with 5 million-plus hotel, destination, and attractions reviews written by travelers
Millions of travel photos uploaded by people from around the world; some of the images are quite good
Travel the World Wiki
Small, self-editable travel 2.0 wiki with about 2,500 pages
You Tube is the go-to site to view others' and upload your own Travel 2.0 videos. At most recent count, it contained more than 30 million travel-related videos.
Originally designed to keep track of friends' whereabouts and meet fellow travelers, Wayn is now part of the lastminute.com group and with nearly 25 million members is dedicated to helping people to discover where to go and what to do, with advice from locals and others. Many of the questions and answers are undated, so it's challenging to find out if the advice is fresh.
Larger of the travel 2.0 travel wikis aiming to be a world-wide travel guide built by individual contributions. According to the site, it now has more than 110,000 pages in English and more than 300,000 writer-travelers visit daily.
Travel 2.0 Sites That Are No More
Since this article was originally written, half of the Travel 2.0 have ceased operating. Like much of the early Web, many sites that gained popularity and attracted viewers early failed. Some couldn't attract a large enough audience, others couldn't find a sustaining way to monetize, still others were operated by staff and owners who simply decided to go on to other things. These were among some of the best of the bunch and what became of them.
This Travel 2.0 site featured savvy blogposts on all matters hotel-related. A few years ago, it "checked out" and now redirects to cntraveler.com
One of the early Travel 2.0 sites that offered advice in a community-oriented setting, IgoUgo has since been taken over by Travelocity. Its hotel ratings are now fed by TripAdvisor.
A travel 2.0 peer-recommendation site that combined elements of MySpace and Delicious sold its appealing name and currently promotes itself as an "all-in-one HR" site that "automates the administrative stuff so you have time for meaningful work." Hardly a vacation travel site anymore!
Blogs, photos, and 2.0 videos from an online community of frequent travelers who shared experiences and provide recommendations via blogs, forums and photos. It was acquired by Uptake in 2010, which was subsequently acquired by Groupon.
This Travel 2.0 site, which focused on providing videos with a higher level of professionalism (some from established travel 1.0 businesses such as InterContinental Hotels) has morphed into SmartShoot, a community/marketplace for photographers and customers.
Originally a travel 2.0 site for nature lovers that allowed them to pinpoint favorite places on US map, Where's Yours was taken over by Nature Valley snack bars. The utility no longer exists there.