BusinessWeek writes about Google’s potential plans to enter the travel arena with a specialized offering. That offering, assuming it appears, would likely include a heavy dose of video. There would also likely be a heavy helping of Maps. Interestingly, Google is pushing Maps and MyMaps today as a travel/trip planning tool.
Google could create a pretty interesting travel product using some combination of YouTube/video and Maps, including StreetView, with social elements (e.g., search UGC/MyMaps). Google used to show a one box that would expedite a search on the top branded travel destinations for queries such as “flights to NYC,” but I was unable to reproduce that today.
Online travel spending exceeds $80 billion annually in the US market; and online travel-related advertising (leisure) is one of the top consumer categories according to the IAB:
Vertical sites offer marketers a more qualified click than do general search results.