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How’s this for the ultimate OTA:

September 19, 2018 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

With online travel agents (OTAs) hitting the headlines, it’s time to remember, a high-flying travel website that could have seen small Australian hotels and motels paying commission not to the likes of Trivago and, but to Donald Trump himself. burst onto the US travel industry scene in 2006, launched by (who else?) Donald Trump. Trump was a business magnate and hotel owner in those days, before aspiring to greater things.

The site’s tagline was “The art of the travel deal”, a reference to Trump’s autobiography, The Art of the Deal. The logo carried the message: “Travel Trump style”.

Announcing the creation of at Trump Tower in New York City on 24 January 2006, Trump stated at the opening press conference: “I will find you the great travel deals, whether you are looking to book a luxury getaway or just want the best rate on airlines and hotels worldwide.

“We are already working with an esteemed group of partners including Travelocity, American Airlines, American Express, Blue Star Jets and Joonbug.”

Trump Steaks, which Donald Trump registered in 2006, the same year was launched.

The glamorous Natalie Glebova, Russian-Canadian TV host, author, dancer, model, and beauty queen, was on stage at the launch. The year before, she won the Miss Universe Canada 2005 and later that year won Miss Universe 2005 in Thailand.

According to Wikipedia, the site featured 60,000 hotels, including “Trump’s picks”, which were marketed as Donald Trump’s favourite hotels and resorts.

Travelocity powered the site and Trump proclaimed would be a “tremendous success”. Alas, it lasted just a year. Even though Trump promoted on his daily radio program, “Trumped!” and expected to have the site featured in the sixth season of The Apprentice, closed in 2007 and is now gone forever.

Travelocity, meanwhile, was acquired by Expedia, which now also owns Trivago, Orbitz, and Wotif (it bought Aussie operator Wotif in 2014).

Today, if you type into a browser address bar, it says: 403 Error. Forbidden.

Forbidden has an exciting ring to it. You almost expect CIA investigators to turn up, conducting inquiries. Or maybe even the Donald himself.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    nice bit of background thanks peter

  2. Peter Needham says:

    Thanks Bruce!

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