Friday, July 21, 2006
Groping for Group
Groople is starting to generate some buzz for targeting online group travel. They recently appointed Mike Stacy as CEO. Mike was also part of the Cendant/Travelport machine, initially heading up marketing and sales at Cheaptickets.com before leading efforts to integrate Orbitz after that acquisition. Stacy says that group is a $40 bil market not online yet. A number of sites have purported to offer group but it had always ended up in an email to the customer care centre to be fulfilled offline. Keep a watch on Groople to see if they (1) automate this and (2) make a stand-alone business out of it. The first is a big challenge but I think the second even more so. We have seen a lot of new and reborn second tier online travel business emerging in this latest internet flurry. Making new products into a stand-alone business will not be easy.