AOL Books Kayak for Travel Search

America Online has partnered with industry veterans to establish a paid Web-based travel search property.

Kayak Software Corporation, founded by the entrepreneurs who were behind Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity, has penned a multiyear marketing and technology agreement with AOL and will provide the search technology that produces listings for customers.

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Kayak scours over 60 online travel sites, providing prices and itineraries for more than 550 airlines and 85,000 hotels, the company boasts.

AOL cites a report from Forrester Research that predicts online sales in the travel marketplace will hit $119 billion by 2010, up from $52 billion this year, as the rationale behind its investment in the site. Jupiter Research forecasts that online sales account for 23 percent of travel purchased.

"Kayak's appeal is paid search, rather than bookings. Travel vendors increasingly seek to control the relationship with online buyers, rather than just rely on agents. But the vendors still need to generate leads, which a facility like Kayak could generate for them," Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox told BetaNews.

A preliminary demonstration of Kayak is available for beta testing.

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