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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 18, 2013

European travelers using less websites to plan and book travel

As the online travel market matures, consumers in Europe are starting to pick their favorite websites through which to make bookings, according to PhoCusWright, with the number of websites used per traveler to plan and book dropping.

by Helen Leggatt

Insights into European consumer travel trends, shared by Carroll Rheem, senior director of research at PhoCusWright, during the group's one-day "Pivot Point" event at the ITB Berlin convention, reveal that European travelers are using less websites to plan and book travel than previously thought.

Rheem quoted from the company's European Consumer Travel report which monitors travel trends in the U.K., Germany and France.

While the majority of European travelers (80%) use the Internet at some point in their travel planning process, the past 12 months has seen the number of websites used in that process decreasing.

In France, 41% of travelers used just one or two websites during 2012 but even in countries like Germany where travelers tend to use the most websites, the number they use is dropping.

As consumers become increasingly familiar with what's available online to help their travel planning and booking, and as the market matures, they are picking their favorite brands and sticking with them, said Rheem.

What makes a favorite website? According to PhoCusWright, ease of use is the number one reason. Complicated booking and research processes are a turn-off but user-friendly websites are creating loyal users.

Other factors that promote loyalty among travelers were having had a good experience previously and, in third place, price.

"Ultimately it will never be just one website. Consumers have a compulsion to shop at multiple places," said Rheem.

Tags: comparison shopping, Europe, loyalty, travel industry, travel trends

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