STA Travel, a global company founded in Australia, has just launched an interesting site in the United States called statravel193.com – as in “193 countries, so little time”. Not to mention money, especially if you are a student, the STA target market. The thing is, the site is so deliberately cool that I didn’t really know how to use it, jumping on after quickly skimming an article about its launch.
Then it slowly became obvious the site is a front for a US-centric competition the company is running – World Traveller Sweepstakes – although STA says the longer-term plan is for statravel193.com to morph into a travel community site with all the social networking Web 2.0 bell and whistles. No doubt that competition database will come in very handy for this initiative further down the track.
Right now all its travel services link back to the US parent site, which occasionally greets visitors from Down Under with an annoying video on why they should visit Australia. I’m undecided as to whether this site is any good or not but would say that it is interesting, so check it out and make up your own mind – www.statravel193.com. Review By Martin Kelly, Editor, TRAVELtech
9 February 2007