Discovery Explores Interactive TV Travel

Liberty Digital, Inc. and Discovery Communications, Inc. have announced an agreement to jointly assess the creation of a commerce-based, interactive, digital television channel targeted to the online leisure travel sector, a market expected to reach $25 billion by 2003.
Under the agreement, Liberty Digital and Discovery Communications will explore the development of a video channel interactively enhanced by a range of narrowband and broadband technologies that would allow consumers to request information, browse destinations around the world, book trips and buy related items such as travel guides and accessories. This new commerce channel will complement Discovery Communication`s existing entertainment brand, the Travel Channel.
Online consumer travel is currently the largest sector of total B2C consumption, with estimated total revenues of between $6 and $8 billion in 1999, according to multiple sources. The market is expected to reach as much as $25.2 billion by 2003, or 24% of the entire B2C space, according to eMarketer 2000. Within the travel vertical, airline ticket bookings dominate sales, but hotel reservations, rental car bookings and vacation packages are expected to increase substantially as the means evolve to book entire trips online.