If you are like most travel affiliate marketers, getting access to deeply discounted travel deals brings a smile to your face and fattens your wallet.  What could be better than this? How about an online travel meta search site (also referred to as travel comparison shopping engine) that is devoted to scouring the Internet to identify the best travel deals, and in turn, aggregating, organizing and displaying all the lowest priced travel deals in one comprehensive site.  If that sounds like an enticing business proposition to you, we suggest you familiarize yourself with Voyij.com.

Launched just a couple of days ago, Voyij is a new breed meta search engine.  Voyij’s creators, seasoned software engineers Brent Stewart, Paul Kim and Nick Atkins (all formerly with SideStep Inc., where Stewart was also one of the co-founders), devised a way to combine some proprietary algorithms with semantic data, natural language parsing and the latest in technology to, in effect, create a ‘travel deals discovery search engine’.

The site is easy to use.  The user can choose from a list of destinations or simply plugs-in the departure city airport he/she wants to fly from and notes the travel date or date range (including an ‘anytime – I’m flexible‘ date option) in the text boxes on the home page and then clicks ‘Find Sales‘.  Voyij then goes out and scrapes content from nineteen travel sites (including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Apple Vacations, Southwest Vacations, CheapCaribbean, United Airlines, Hotels.com, Hotwire, just to name a few) and delivers back to the user a list of travel bargains, which include last-minute deals and distressed inventory.  Users can also filter their preferences by noting what’s important in their search requirements, choosing to winnow their requirements through exacting selection criteria such as dates, locations, activities, price, star ratings and much more.

I did a query from Boston, MA for the month of July, and Voyij quickly came back with 4,686 sales and specials, broken down first by category – 53 Flight Sales, 4,491 Hotel Sales and 142 Vacation Sales [Flight + Hotel] – followed by a column below with a running list of all the deals, starting with the lowest priced (an absurdly priced hotel in Las Vegas – the Residence Inn by Marriott at Hendersen Green Valley for $4.00 available from i4Vegas.com. Hotel deals from Travelocity and Hotels.com were next in line, at rates of $9.00 and $10.00 per night, respectively).

Voyij’s business model is based on lead generation and commission earned from the sale of the travel products, which are transacted on the supplier’s site, not on Voyij.  All travel deals and content are limited today to North America and the Caribbean, though Voyij claims Europe will be added this fall and Asia/Pac sometime shortly after that.

Currently, it is unclear to us whether Voyij has a travel affiliate program in the offing, but our sense is given the founders’ background with SideStep/Kayak (and SideStep’s long history with affiliate marketing programs), as well as the fact that most of the travel partner sites Voyij works with offer travel affiliate programs, they will.  It might behoove many of our readers – indeed, all travel affiliate marketers in general as well as affiliate network managers and executives – to contact Voyij and express an interest in a travel affiliate program to speed-up that likelihood.

PhoCusWright, the travel market research firm, reiterated in its recently published 2009 Top Ten Travel Technology Trends twos prognostication originally posted in its 2008 list: “Semantic Technology and the Semantic Web will drive the next wave of Internet technology” and “Search will evolve to become more effective.” Travel Dividends agrees wholeheartedly, and Voyij is a great example of these.

What do you think of Voyij and other promising meta search sites and technology?  How do you see travel affiliates working with these new breed of players?  What are the opportunities – or risks – that may be involved?  Let us know your thoughts…send us an email.  Thanks!

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