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BizReport : Research archives : June 11, 2007

U.S. short-vacation bookers spend more online

Results from The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey Ninth Edition, published this week, show that Americans are now taking several shorter breaks as opposed to one big trip.

by Helen Leggatt

PhoCusWrigh%20logo.jpgAccording to the survey results, leisure travelers take over twice as many short breaks, defined as a three-night stay away from home, than they do a week-long vacation in a year.

Short breaks are generally less expensive and travelers are more inclined to purchase cheap travel online. Despite this, the survey found that short break travelers spend over $500 more per year online than their long-trip counterparts.

"Long weekend trips represent an important opportunity in leisure travel and the online leisure marketplace," according to Susan Steinbrink, PhoCusWright's market research analyst. "And while long weekend trips potentially offer travel providers lower margins, they do offer more frequent travelers and trips to target."

The report’s other key findings include:

- Visual features on a website influence where travel plans are purchased. Over 7 in 10 online travelers said, a website's use of maps, pictures and video had an influence on whether they went on to purchase.

- The smaller the financial investment and distance traveled for a trip, the more inclined travelers are to purchase their travel online.

- With almost four trips per year and more than double the incidence of spending online compared to long vacationers (59 percent vs. 24 percent), long weekend travelers actually represent the more profitable online buying segment of the two.

- Long weekend travelers are significantly more likely than their traditional vacation counterparts to be frequent travelers, and to stay in a hotel when traveling for pleasure. They are also more likely to purchase tickets to events or attractions, are more likely to shop online travel agencies and have a higher average household income.

Tags: online spending, online travel, PhoCusWright

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