bitten by the travel bug, gone are the days when only a 'Lonely Planet' guide would suffice. As with everything else, people now want updated information on destinations. They want to know about the experiences of other people. They want people to advise them on where to stay, eat, and what to do. And that's where travel blogs and communities come in - HolidayIQ (formerly India Resorts Survey), Raahi and Indiamike, to name a few.
Oktatabyebye.com, which was launched as a travel blog last year by MakeMyTrip.com, has been relaunched as a full-fledged travel community. While the earlier website was a platform for bloggers to post their travel travails, the new website is a community of members which rates, tags and comments on various aspects of travel. This includes opinions on hotels, places to eat, festivals and so on.
There are tangible and intangible rewards for members. While the 'awards' are based on the ratings of members, there are Nokia phones and Olympus cameras up for grabs.
Since the community is an offshoot of MakeMyTrip, will there be a connection between the two? No, says Sachin Bhatia, co-founder and chief marketing officer of MakeMyTrip, "We don't intend to intervene in the community, which will remain unbiased. The members will contribute to the growth of the website."
Bhatia adds that there will be a business element after a year or so. "We are looking at tie-ups with suppliers and hotels, after we have built up the numbers," he says. So far, the company claims to have received about 20,000 pictures, 200 hotel reviews and 150 travelogues.
There will be no major promotion for Oktatabyebye.com except intimations to MakeMyTrip.com members, about four lakh in number. The company expects the site to be out of beta in about 45 days.
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