Fodors.com Brings Dining Reservations to 'Table'

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Fodors.com, a travel information provider, is offering the ability to book dining reservations at hundreds of restaurants in the United States through its Web site.


OpenTable, San Francisco, a customer relationship management firm for the food industry, is powering the service.


"By adding OpenTable's online reservation engine to our site, we continue to provide users with a broad range of time-saving, comprehensive travel planning and content services," said Brent Peich, general manager at Fodors.com, New York. "People who come to our site to research information about their trip cannot only read the content, but act upon it."


Users researching San Francisco restaurants on Fodors.com, for example, can click on the OpenTable icon, which takes them to the San Francisco page at OpenTable.com. A reservation date, time and party size are submitted at the chosen restaurant. OpenTable confirms the reservation instantly, or informs the user if the restaurant is booked and recommends other times. There are no fees to use the service. Fodors.com does not accept fees from restaurants.


"These kinds of e-commerce relationships definitely take advantage of the interactive power of the Web," Peich said. "It helps us provide an experience that our users can't get in the books."


Fodor's Travel Publications, a division of Random House Inc., produces 14 travel-oriented guidebook series with more than 300 titles in print. Fodors.com is touted in Fodor's books, a promotional effort that has not discouraged book sales, Peich said.


"We haven't really seen any cannibalization, but we recognized early on that the interactive medium, particularly once the Internet became a reality, would be a very important place for us to go," Peich said. "We're travel information providers and the Web is a great reference source."


Fodors.com places banner ads on travel-oriented sites such as Go.com, Travelchannel.com, Trip.com and The Weather Channel's Weather.com, "which has a very strong traveling audience," Peich said.


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