Keystrokes by Nadine Godwin, Travel Weekly

    [] ravel Weekly's annual technology conference concluded last week in Orlando. As usual, I was impressed with the creativity of new businesses at the show.

    I viewed a product offered by Tripaddiction.com of Boise, Idaho. It provides a new twist on computer-assisted FIT planning. One partner is Virginia Saunders, with a background in retail and tour operations.

    Subscribers, who pay a $995 annual fee for up to 10 users, can search for sample itineraries by destination, beginning with short trip plans and moving to more detailed versions.

    Agents also can look for trip proposals based on clients' special interests.

    Tripaddiction proposals feature recommended hotels, including many of the smaller attractive properties "often invisible to agents," the firm says. Itineraries also come with recommendations for car rentals, trains, sightseeing and restaurants. For booking, the program provides Web links to hotels and to transport, sightseeing and other sources.

    Agents can print customized handouts based on clients' special interests and the recommended restaurants. And marketing aids are downloadable.

    This is not the only firm to try harnessing the computer for planning truly unique trips, and I have the same reaction to each such firm. Aside from deep admiration for the effort involved in creating such a robust database, I imagine using it to plan a trip for myself!