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Oyster offers a traveler-friendly approach to online bookings

Oyster Venetian Hotel PhotosTravel websites have come along leaps and bounds since the early days of online booking services. Sparkling hotel-supplied photos of destinations abound, as do lay person reviews of accommodation. That’s all useful, but marketing images tend to make everything look more heavenly than when you arrive in person.  It can also be difficult to assess the quality of the all those non-professional reviews.

An innovative new site called Oyster has sprung up which seems to do a address these two problems. Offering visitors the opportunity to “See the Hotel Truth”, Oyster actually sends its own employees to hotels to snap real life shots and write professional reviews. Oyster claims to have more than 200,000 undoctored photos of  hotels, most of which are in the US or nearby. Some of the photos are flattering while others are, let’s just say, useful to see before you book.  So it’s a must-use resource for travelers wanting to get an honest opinion before they buy.  In gadget-speak it’s kind of like the CNET of travel websites, and visitors can actually book hotels after sorting through the reviews and photos.

With all the product review websites out there, it’s amazing that the concept of online professional mass reviews of hotel ‘product’ has taken so long to appear. We’ve always had travel guides which give brief comments about hotels, but the consistent depth and no holds barred approach of Oyster really make it shine. Even if you never book a room, just perusing some of their real life shots makes for a great staycation.

Neil Berman


Jun 4, 2010 - Posted by | News | , ,

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