‘Hands off’, Soskin tells search engines

Search engines would be stupid to turn themselves into online travel agents, according to Cheapflights.co.uk chief executive David Soskin.

He claimed search giants such as Google and Yahoo! would not dare sell travel products direct to consumers as they would risk the wrath of some of their largest advertisers – tour operators and travel agents.

Soskin also said consumers would ditch search engines in droves if they changed their model from natural search to promoting suppliers who paid the most commission.

“I cannot see why the search engines would want to get into the business of their biggest clients,” he told delegates at the Eye for Travel conference in London.

“Search must be neutral; consumers would think very hard about the search engines being the first place they visit if they acted as travel agencies.”

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