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Online Travel Bookings Continue Growing Trend

April 19, 2006

Online Travel Bookings Continue Growing Trend
April 19, 2006 – Online travel bookings continue to grow, as evident in two new studies released this week. Forrester Research and the Travel Industry Association of America unveiled results of a new joint survey of 2,500 online travelers titled "It Doesn’t Have to Suck: Making Web Travel Planning Better". Results from the survey show that 35.2 million households are booking travel online, spending approximately $74.4 billion. An additional 20.3 million households are researching travel online, but will buy offline. According to research just released by the European Travel Commission, the number of travelers booking via hotels’ own Web sites increased by 33 percent in 2005 compared to 2004.

The Forrester/TIA survey reports that 71 percent of all U.S. households will be online by the end of the year. U.S. online leisure travelers average 4.4 trips per year, higher than offline leisure travelers. Reportedly, 68 percent of online travelers are visiting friends and relatives; 49 percent are taking weekend getaways, 39 percent are taking four plus day vacations to one or two cities, 26 percent are taking trips during a holiday period, 26 percent are taking unplanned, unbudgeted trips, and 21 percent are taking trips involving family reunions, weddings, and special events. Of online leisure travelers, 67 percent are under 50. For more information and other survey statistics, visit

According to research released by the European Travel Commission, branded hotel Web sites gained share over third-party sites and opaque Web sites in 2005. TravelCLICK’s eTRAK, which tracks reservation activity at the leading 30 hotel brands, reported that their Web sites were the source of 75.2 percent of centrally booked Internet reservations at those hotels, compared with 71.4 percent in 2004. Online hotel bookings worldwide by type of Web site in 2005 (percentage of market share): brand: 75.2 percent; retail: 10.6; merchant: 9; and opaque: 5.2 percent. TravelCLICK believes that the market is giving a clear indication that hotels are regaining control of their distribution channels. eTRAK shows that 35 percent of reservations came through GDS channels in 2005, while Internet sites also contributed 35 percent. Voice reservations accounted for the remaining 30 percent. In total, over 61 million bookings were made last year for the top 30 brands through the GDS and the Internet. For more information, visit

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