Comparison shopping engine PriceGrabber has expanded into travel.
It's travel category, still in beta, offers search for flights;
no hotels or rental cars yet. Other comparison shopping sites don't yet
offer travel. Shopping.com, for example, carries ads for Expedia,
Travelocity, Hotwire and Travelzoo on its travel page.
But presumably it's only a matter of time before all the leading
comparison shopping sites (Shopping.com, Nextag, Yahoo! Shopping and
Froogle) offer travel.
Other recent entrants into the travel market include Overstock.com
and eCost. And travel-specific search engine SIdeStep recently
announced that it is stepping up its marketing.
Increased competition and the roll-out of category specific search (one of five Internet danger signs to watch for in 2005)
can't be good for the online travel agents owned by IACI (Expedia and
Hotwire), TSG (Travelocity), CD (Orbitz) and TZOO (Travelzoo).
Full disclosure: at the time of writing I'm long SHOP.