According to Hitwise, traffic to Travel sites continues to show strong growth in the UK. In July, visits to Travel related websites represented 5% of all online visits (one in 20 visits), compared with one in 25 visits in January 2004. This correlates with forecasts published in the Hitwise Travel Report earlier this year, which estimated the sector would reach 5% of all online visits by August 2004.Graph: Visits to Travel websites by market share of visits, January 2003 - July 2004
Between June and July 2004, visits to sites within the Travel sector grew by 18%, compared with only a 3.7% growth that occurred between May and June. During the first two weeks of Euro 2004 (weeks ending July 12th and 19th) visits to the Travel category actually decreased, indicating that people decided to defer booking holidays until the end of Euro 2004.
The uplift in visits to the category which occurred in July suggests that consumers have instead taken advantage of late holiday deals, with traffic to the Travel sector peaking in the week ending July 24th and reaching 5.09% of visits.Ê
Hitwise data further reveals that average session duration on a travel website has also increased in the last two months, up from 5 minutes and 50 seconds in June to 6 minutes and 7 seconds in August.
Top 10 Travel sites, week ending 21st August 2004
5. National Rail
6. The Automobile Association UK
9. British Airways
10. MyTravel UK