Travel review site unveils facelift

Travel community IgoUgo.com has launched a redesigned website as it tries to compete with TripAdvisor in the online travel review space.

The site, which claims some 9000 destinations and over a million reviews, says that the clearer design will simplify planning and sharing for consumers.

Other new features include closer integration with Twitter and Facebook, enabling travelers to easily share photos using social media, and a new "Get Ideas from Other Travelers" feature which includes recent reviews and tips, similar to the TripAdvisor Facebook Connect integration rolled out in June.

Travelocity-owned IgoUgo.com is keen to emphasize the social aspect of its service compared to TripAdvisor - it has 540,000 members, each with a profile that can be used to share tips and advice.

"We wanted the site experience to better reflect that IgoUgo is a great community of expert travelers who have been where you want to go, and who are sharing positive advice for your trips," said Aditi Gokhale, IgoUgo General Manager.

"We've added new capabilities to better match content with visitors' preferences, allowing us to cut through the clutter to offer real-time and relevant recommendations."

The site has been in testing since September as IgoUgo.com battles to win market share from TripAdvisor, which announced in September that it had become the first travel brand to have more than 40 million visitors to its website in a month.

However, as the controversy surrounding the negative reviews on the TripAdvisor site grows as a result of proposed legal action from hoteliers, other sites may yet have their day.

IgoUgo.com is clearly aware of how it wants to differentiate itself, saying "while other travel sites focus on where not to go, IgoUgo has been re-engineered to inspire travel."

http://www.igougo.com

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