For Travel, Two-Thirds of Web Users Both Research and Transact Online

March 1, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Retail & E-Commerce | Travel & Hospitality

With the U.S. online travel marketplace approaching $70 billion, Burst Media‘s survey of some 2,100 web users 18 years and older who plan to travel in the next three months found that nearly half (47.2 percent) of respondents who will use the web to plan their upcoming travel say the internet will be their primary travel resource.

Among age segments, respondents 25-34 years are most likely to say the internet will be their primary travel resource (53.2 percent); respondents 55 years and older are least likely (41.4 percent). Half (51.8 percent) of respondents reporting household income (HHI) of $75,000-$99,999, and nearly two-thirds (63.1 percent) of respondents reporting HHI of $100,000 or more, say the internet will be their primary travel resource.


Burst found that two-thirds (66.9 percent) of respondents will conduct travel research as well as make an online travel transaction – and  33.1 percent will use the web solely as an information resource. As household income (HHI) increases so does the likelihood that a respondent will use the internet to conduct both travel research and travel transactions: 72.3 percent of those reporting HHI of $75,000-$99,999, and 79.7 percent reporting HHI of $100,000 or more, will conduct both research and transactions.


Of those who will conduct a travel transaction on the web, about three-quarters (74.0 percent) will purchase airline tickets, 72.9 percent will likely make hotel reservations, and over one-third (40.4 percent) will likely rent an automobile. Those who plan to make transactions online will also conduct travel research online – 59.7 percent will research travel destinations, and 28.6 percent will research travel/tour operators.

Among survey respondents who use the internet solely as a research tool, the most popular topics of research are hotel accommodations and prices (50.1 percent), travel destinations (45.8 percent), airline flights and fares (39.2 percent), tour/travel operators (24.4 percent), and car rental availability/rates (12.2 percent).

Respondents were asked what features of a travel resource website make them want to return to it: The most cited were the ability to check flights, hotels and rental car’s rates/availability (55.1 percent), destination information (49.9 percent), and travel promotions and specials (49.7 percent).

Women placed much greater importance than men on travel promotions and specials (55.4 percent versus 44.5 percent). Older respondents placed greater emphasis than younger respondents on destination information:Over half (56.5 percent) of respondents 55 years or older say destination information is essential for a website to continue to draw their attention – compared with 51.8 percent of respondents 35-54 years, and 43.1 percent of the 18-34 year segment.

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