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BizReport : Research archives : July 12, 2007

Travel planners outnumber bookers online

Consumers researching travel plans are outnumbering those that book travel online, says a new report from The Conference Board and TNS.

by Helen Leggatt

The Internet is a prime travel research and booking tool yet new figures from The Consumer Internet Barometer, produced by The Conference Board (TCB) and TNS, suggest that overall travel activity online has declined over the past three years.

Only 20 percent of consumers surveyed claimed to have used the Internet more this year than last to research travel arrangements and slightly less, 18 percent, have increased their online travel bookings.

Travel websites need to be easy to use and inspire confidence and trust in the booking system, for many consumers it’s the most expensive purchase they make online. However, just 30 percent of those surveyed expressed a high level of satisfaction with travel websites, and 55 percent said they were “somewhat satisfied”.

Airlines have made great headway in making online bookings easy and this is reflected in the report’s findings. The highest levels of satisfaction (48 percent) were from those who booked airfares online, followed by car rentals.

Northwest and Southwest Airlines have recently expanded their booking options to make booking “easy and appealing” by accepting PayPal payments.

Tags: online travel, PayPal, travel industry

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