The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) released their annual Travelers’ Use of the Internet study in December 2003. The study shows an increase in the number of people using the internet to research and book travel.
TIA found that 30% of the adult U.S. population (63.8 million) consult the web for travel information. These travelers spend (on average) $300 more on travel, and nearly 40% had an annual household income above $75,000.
Online travelers surf to two or more travel websites, spending an average of 37 minutes. They research and compare prices, check schedules and book trips. The number of people actually booking online increased by 8% over 2002 and grew to 42.2 million people in 2003. Within this group of online travelers, 32 million people made travel arrangements exclusively through the internet (a figure expected to grow according to the TIA).
10 million travelers responded to email campaigns, causing the TIA to believe that email campaigns are stimulating unplanned travel.
TIA stated that the top 10 travel websites are:
- Yahoo Travel
- Cheap Tickets
- Hot Wire
If your business supplies lodging, real estate, shopping, recreation, dining, events or tourist related specialty services, it may be wise to place advertisements with these websites. If you are not making full use of the internet for your marketing campaigns you are missing 30% of your potential market.
As online travelers’ habits become more sophisticated you will find them expecting to find and book everything from one location.