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European Travel Commission Presents Latest Online Trends

September 7, 2006

European Travel Commission Presents Latest Online Trends
Sept. 7, 2006 –The European Travel Commission has released research showing the latest online trends. Some 713 million people use the Internet, representing 14 percent of the world’s total population of people aged 15 and older, according to comScore’s June 2006 World Metrix data. Of the 713 million online users, 21 percent are from the U.S. about 153,074,000 people; 11 percent from China and 7 percent from Japan. Germany, the U.K., South Korea, France, Canada, India and Italy, respectively round out the top 10 Internet-using countries.

According to joint research by comScore Media Metrix, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Media Contacts released in July 2006, 7.5 million U.K. consumers generated 9.8 million travel purchases from December 2005 through February 2006. The study also found that travel search seems to be more important to U.K. travelers with 40 percent of all searchers in the U.K. conducting a travel search during the analysis period compared to 27 percent in a comparable study conducted among U.S. consumers. Of the travelers tracked, only 10 percent immediately purchased a travel product, but 90 percent completed a travel purchase online or offline within 90 days.

From January to June 2006, online travel spending by consumers in the U.S. reached $34.7 billion, representing a 14.7 percent increase over the same period in 2005 when the figure was estimated at $30.3 billion.

Some 61 percent of North American online seniors book or research travel online. Some 78 percent of online 18-to 26 year olds in North America book or research travel online, according to a survey of nearly 67,000 North American households by Forrester Research "North American Consumer Technology Adoption Study 2006 Benchmark Survey."

Travelers bring a surprising amount of technology with them in order to stay connected during their leisure trips, according to the latest Voice of the Traveler survey by the Travel Industry Association of America and Synovate. Cell phones (86 percent) and digital cameras (67 percent) topped the list of most popular technologies Americans take with them on leisure trips, while 24 percent of travelers also packed their laptops. CD players are still popular, with 21 percent of travelers bringing one along, while only 11 percent brought an iPod or MP3 player. Those percentages are likely to reverse themselves in the next few years due to the increasing popularity of travel-related/destination-specific podcasts and downloadable music and video.

Travelers no longer have to wait until they return from vacation to share their stories as 18 percent use the Internet to stay connected with family and friends while traveling or choose accommodations based on availability of a high-speed Internet connection or Wi-Fi access (15 percent).

Top 10 Websites among US mobile Internet users, ranked by unique visitors: Yahoo Mail was accessed by 6.5 million (a 3 percent reach of subscribers); The Weather Channel: 5.8 million (2.7 percent); ESPN: 5.3 million (2.5 percent); Google Search: 4.4 million (2 percent); MSN Hotmail: 3.4 million (1.6 percent); MapQuest: 3.1 million (1.4 percent); AOL Mail: 2.9 million (1.4 percent); CNN: 2.8 million (1.3 percent); Yahoo Weather: 2.7 million (1.3 percent); and Yahoo Search: 2.5 million (1.2 percent).

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