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BizReport : Research archives : January 10, 2008

Americans buy more travel online than offline

Last year, more American travelers purchased their travel online than offline, according to a recent survey.

by Helen Leggatt

PhoCusWrigh%20logo.jpgToday’s online travelers are more web-savvy and knowledgeable than ever before. This is being reflected in the amount of research, bookings and purchases being made online.

The recently released PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey found that over half, 51 percent, of U.S. travel was booked online in 2007. It also projected that percentage to rise to 56 percent this year, increasing to 60 percent in 2009.

Web 2.0 elements, such as video, blogs, travel bookmarking and travel communities are giving travelers the raw information they desire to make complex travel decisions.

"For travel shoppers, seeing really is believing. The fact that travelers find these visual tools to be so influential suggests that online rich media, including content-rich, three-dimensional maps, will be an increasingly important part of the travel-planning process," said Cathy Schetzina, director of research at PhoCusWright. "Traveler review sites that incorporate these visual elements are likely to be more appealing."

The survey also found that the more complex a travelers requirements the less they were likely to purchase online. Instead, simpler travel components, such accommodation and flights, are being purchased more frequently.

Tags: online booking, online travel, Web 2.0

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