Microsoft says Bing Travel will help make smarter decisions

Microsoft’s new Bing Travel “will help consumers make smart travel decisions through a variety of innovative tools and features,” the company announced.

Bing Travel is part of Bing, a new search engine from Microsoft. Bing Travel combines many of the airfare and hotel tools from Farecast, which Microsoft acquired in 2008, and news from MSN Travel.

“Bing Travel has a simple goal: help people make smarter, more informed decisions regarding travel,” Hugh Crean, general manager of Bing Travel, said in a news release. “Travelers face plenty of challenges — from airport security and luggage restrictions to finding their hotel in an unknown city or trying to speak a foreign language. Researching and booking travel should be simple and easy, and now Bing Travel is here to help.”

A recent Bing Travel survey revealed that 52 percent of potential travelers search three or more sites before booking their airfare. In addition, 42 percent of travelers spend between one and four weeks weighing travel options while 17 percent spend more than one month.

Officials at Bing Travel say they want to reduce how much time consumers spend searching for travel information. The site includes a number of tools including Price Predictor and Rate Indicator.

“We know that a summer vacation isn’t an option for everyone this year, but for those with even a modest travel budget, it will go a long way this year,” Joel Grus, a Bing Travel fareologist, said in a news release. “We also encourage people to shift how they think about a summer vacation. Instead of flying to Mexico or Hawaii, consider taking advantage of incredibly low hotel rates in a city nearby. Anyone who is creative, flexible and a little savvy can find a trip to fit almost any budget.”

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