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Pia Schratzenstaller
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TripAdvisor unveils new sitesearch for travel: Addressing the challenge of multi-dimensional product search

March 27, 2001-- TripAdvisor, Inc. (www.TripAdvisor.com), an OEM provider of vertical search engine technologies, today announced its new SiteSearch for Travel (TM) which provides complex product search capabilities to travel e-commerce sites, web portals and Global Distribution System (GDS) providers. Built to address the shortcomings of existing search solutions for travel, TripAdvisor's patent-pending search technology indexes and organizes existing product databases to allow for multi-dimensional search--across multiple product offerings, multiple data sources and multiple customer preferences. This enables travel companies to present personalized, relevant product offerings at the precise moment visitors are searching for travel information.

"With the growing number of travel products on the market today, travel sites need search technology that allows visitors to find the best products quickly and easily," said Stephen Kaufer, CEO and Co-founder of TripAdvisor. "Many travel sites have rich inventory and content, but it is increasingly difficult for consumers to find the travel information and products that match their preferences. SiteSearch for Travel(TM) has an in-depth understanding of travel products, web site structure, customer travel preferences and travel search terms. This enables the product to effectively answer tough, multi-dimensional queries like `biking tours in France'."

Current search technologies typically search solely on destination or limited keywords. For example, searching on "Golfing in Arizona" on many popular travel sites returns irrelevant results or results focused on one or the other criterion--but rarely will you receive results that match both criteria. When integrated into a GDS or travel e-commerce site, TripAdvisor's SiteSearch for Travel(TM) parses the query "Golfing in Arizona" and analyzes it across multiple dimensions, such as geography (Arizona), activity (golfing), profile (the customer prefers small, luxury hotels) and popularity (what are the most popular golf courses).

For each destination suggested, TripAdvisor shows all appropriate packages/products and content available in the partner's database, ranked by popularity and relevance to a customer's profile. "Presenting customers with personalized product offerings that match their needs and preferences will increase the conversion rate of `lookers to bookers' and the profitability ratios of TripAdvisor partners," said Langley Steinert, Chairman and Co-founder of TripAdvisor.