It seems like Yahoo could do so much more with it given the fact that Yahoo puts almost nothing into marketing the site and yet it is one of the larger sites in the global travel industry.
Depending on how close you’ve been paying attention, perhaps you’d be surprised to learn that Yahoo Travel is still around — and it is big.
For those of you who are keeping score, here are 14 things you likely didn’t know about Yahoo Travel, which is one of the most neglected properties in the travel industry.
1. In January 2014, Yahoo Travel notched 24.1 million desktop visits, according to SimilarWeb data, making Yahoo Travel the 9th largest travel booking site in the world.
2. In reality, though, Yahoo Travel itself doesn’t book much of anything, and is really a media/marketing platform. Air, hotels, cars, and cruise are handled by the Travelocity Partner Network, and the vacation rental portion of the site (which is a mess) provides links to myriad providers from Roomorama to Rentalo.com to VacationHomeRentals.com.
3. The Travelocity Partner Network has been handling air, car and hotels for Yahoo Travel since around 1997. In the old days, at least, Travelocity paid Yahoo a fee — $28 million over three years in the early 2000s, for example — in exchange for all of those transactions, co-branding, and a minimum number of page views.
3. Orbitz announced last month that it was acquiring the Travelocity Partner Network, which handles Yahoo Travel’s hotels, flights and cars, so all of those bookings are now benefiting Orbitz Worldwide’s financials. Travelocity.com is Yahoo’s cruise partner.
4. Please tell Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that Yahoo Travel needs to get more social because Skift’s social metrics and competitive-intelligence tool, Skift IQ, gives Yahoo Travel a lowly 356 Skift Score out of a possible 1,000. Of course, there are plenty of companies in travel that aren’t very social, but are doing just fine (Booking.com’s Skift Score 579).
6. @YahooTravel in the past two weeks has tweeted 2.5 times per day on average, according to Skift IQ, and 60% of its tweets take place on weekends. You’d think Yahoo could afford to bolster its weekday tweet staff, unless perhaps Mayer is doing it in her spare time on Saturdays and Sundays.
7. Yahoo’s preferred Twitter client is Twitter Feed (61.2%) and the Web (36%), according to Skift IQ. There’s an occasional Yahoo Travel tweet from Tweetdeck and Twitter for iPhone, but they are hardly worth mentioning.
8. Yahoo’s most popular tweets over the last few months, according to Skift IQ, were:
— Yahoo Travel (@YahooTravel) November 15, 2013
22 things you might not know about Hawaii http://t.co/dKjydt6Lzv
— Yahoo Travel (@YahooTravel) August 23, 2013
9. Yahoo Travel has been partnering with @USNewsTravel on Twitter chats, according to Skift IQ, conducting Twitter gabfests on December 12 and October 29 on #bestcruises and #foodietravel, respectively.
10. Yahoo Travel averaged only 1.7 Facebook wall posts per day over the last 30 days, and it has attracted 110,000 likes, placing it ninth among travel media sites, according to Skift IQ, sandwiched between Cruise Critic at eighth and Airfarewatchdog at 10th.
11. The following photos, including “Today’s travel eye candy,” and “95 years ago today,” were Yahoo Travel’s two most popular pieces of Facebook content over the last 16 days, attracting 426 and 385 likes, respectively, according to Skift IQ.
12. From August 2013 through January 2014, 77.78% of Yahoo’s desktop traffic came from referrals, according to SimilarWeb — and almost 96% of that referral traffic came from (you guessed it) Yahoo.com.
13. Yahoo Travel recently retired a couple of tools, My Travel, which enabled users to document where they’d been and where they wanted to travel to, and Trip Planner, which enables consumers to aggregate information from Yahoo Travel and create trip plans. If you hadn’t heard of them, then you have plenty of company, and that’s why they are being mothballed. It’s not necessarily Yahoo’s fault, since tools like this have a nearly 100% fail rate.
14. While some online travel booking sites give lip service to promoting the experiential aspects of travel, Yahoo Travel’s search widget, is labeled “Find Your Price,” and makes no such pretense.
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Photo credit: Yahoo Travel averages only 1.7 Facebook wall posts per day. There's a lot not to like at that slow pace. Yahoo Travel