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BizReport : Internet : October 04, 2013

More travelers using comparison shopping travel website to make reservations

More than a quarter of U.S. travelers now make travel reservations via comparison travel shopping sites such as Kayak, according to the results of a new survey released by MMGY Global/Harrison Group, and over half turn to review sites such as for recommendations.

by Helen Leggatt

Many Americans continue to feel the pinch financially, or are cautious about spending, but new research reveals a slight uptick (3%) in the number of active leisure travelers* who plan to "take more trips in the year ahead". Most (64%) intend to take the same number of vacations as they did last.

The findings, published in the '2013 Portrait of American Travelers' report, found those active travelers are increasingly turning to websites like Dealbase and Kayak to research and make reservations. Use of such sites is up to 28% this year compared to 15% in 2010. During the same time, the use of online travel agents to make travel reservations is down from 66% to 58%.

The use of travel-related mobile apps has also significantly increased since 2010 and 36% now download apps such as hotel (38%) and airline (54%) branded apps and destination guides (27%).

While technology is playing an increasing role in travel research, many travelers (82%) still rely on the advice and recommendations of family and friends. However, a large number do rely on online resources and consult travel review sites such as TripAdvisor (58%) and blog posts (41%).

Such resources and technology are "factoring heavily into the decision-making process, as travelers are attempting to make smarter choices, seeking better value and good deals" says Steve Cohen, vice president of Insights at MMGY Global.

* Households with an annual income of $50,000 or more and who took at least one leisure trip of 75 miles or more from home during the previous 12 months on which they used overnight accommodation.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: airline industry, comparison shopping, hotel industry, online travel agent, OTA, travel industry, word of mouth

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