Travel search engines work similar to regular search engines, but they feature one type of content: travel deals online. These engines crawl through the travel sites on the web and pick up listings on hotel websites, travel agent websites, suppliers and more.
Growing travel search engines include Mobissimo, Kayak, and Yahoo's Farechaser and they are gaining audience rapidly.
For example, Hitwise research indicted that travel search engine traffic has grown 250 percent in the past six months, according to Hotelmarketing.com newsletter. The top dive travel agencies (includes Expedia, Travelocity, etc.) only grew 11.4 percent.
For hotels and rental car companies, these travel search engines may be a good new distribution channel to consider, particularly to grow direct bookings.
Hotelmarketing.com additionally noted that visitors to travel search engines are more likely to be over 55 than other types of online travel engines. If this is your target market, travel search engines may be a uniquely interesting distribution channel online.