Becoming Your Own Online Travel Agent
We've grown from travellers who picked up the phone or went to the local Travel Agency to embracing Online Travel Agencies. Now a third wave of tech-savvy travellers are graduating to become their own Online Travel Agents.
I'm not talking about those many people who are actually starting their own businesses - their own Online Travel Agency - but people like me who have found using an online travel agent is unnecessary. All of the tools and resources are now available to everyone so we can become our very own personal online travel agents.
(I know this sounds like I'm rambling and repeating myself - this is first draft so I promise I will, get back and clean up this lens!)
For now let me try and clarify what I'm trying to say.
The First Wave of Online Travel
When it comes to online travel booking the first wave of Internet surfers jumped right on board when companies like Expedia and Travelocity arrived on the scene. They offered a convenient one-stop way to book travel online.
The Second Wave of Online Travel
Now the advent of social media has created a consumer driven online market place. One where we know longer have to shop strictly on price and AAA reviews but one where we can read fellow travellers reviews and experiences. Sites like TripAdvisor are growing because everyone wants an online community to belong to.
The Third Wave of Online Travel
I believe we are entering a Third Wave of Online Travel. Social communities like TripAdvisor will split once more and become even more personal. Instead of searching one big travel site like TripAdvisor we are starting to see social travel communities spring up around specific locales - countries - regions - activities.
Online Travel Blogging
Now that blogging has taken over as the engine of the Internet we can create our own online travel communities around those places, people and things that are important to us in our travel. And that brings us back to the beginning of this Hub - creating our own online travel agency. One personalized for us. Try this - start surfing for blogs which talk specifically about your travel interests. Then create your own blog gathering those individual likes and dislikes into your own custom travel blog. As you add more content and get more comments your travel blog can become your very own personal online travel agency. Each time you plan a new trip you can go there first to get a relevant picture of what works for you. A good example of this is my own Panama Travel Blog. It's not about selling Panama Hotel Rooms but about just what I'm talking about here. Giving personal information from my personal experiences staying in Panama Hotels in various parts of the country.
I can't think of a better place to start your own Online Travel Agency than with HUB Pages. I've already started quite a few myself. Of course most of them center around my favorite topic and place to visit - Panama!