Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Siteseeing - 1 (Cybertrack - 14 )

Note. This column used to be called Cybertrack, a name that Outlook Traveller came up with, which I was never really comfortable with. This month, I suggested the new name, and they agreed. Yay!

HolidayIQ harnesses the opinions of its holiday-making members, and ties that to a database of hotels and resorts around India. Destinations are sorted state-wise, with hotels for each location. Large chunks of the destination lists haven’t been reviewed yet, though, and I didn’t find much value in the bits that were. And of the claimed 2200 hotels listed, by its own admission only around 800 have been reviewed so far. With 73238 members, one expects, um, more. The positives: detailed contact information for hotels; search by type (beach, spa, home stay, etcetera), tariff and rating; and the promise of deals filtered from those offered by travel portals. But be warned before you sign up, parts of their Terms of Use are truly idiotic for a site that will sink or swim based on user goodwill. Exhibit One: “Any and all information that is submitted by you including but not limited to comments, feedback etc is the sole property of the Company which may be used in any manner the Company deems fit.” Exhibit Two: “You hereby consent to the receipt of physical & electronic communication from us.” Spam ahoy! And the one that proves that this new economy company just doesn’t grok the web: “Any hyperlink to any page of our website should be with our written permission and consent.” Perhaps I shouldn’t give you the URL; they might sue me. Heh.

Published in Outlook Traveller, November 2006.

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