Online US travel bookings grow

U.S. consumer research shows that respondents took 115.5 million domestic overnight leisure trips with children in 2004—spending more than $60 billion.Research and Markets has announced the addition of Families & Travel in the United States to their offering.

To address challenges in the travel market, this report aims to offer a comprehensive view of family travel (travel habits of adults with children). Research includes attitudes to hotels, travel magazines and car rental; average spend; choice of destination; participation in leisure activities; and reasons for not taking more leisure trips.

Internationally, families with children took two million international trips, spending $4.6 billion. Respondents show much higher frequency of domestic than international travel, with 67% of respondents having taken a domestic trip in the last year, compared to 37% who have traveled internationally during the last three years.

While travel agents still hold the leading share of travel bookings, online bookings have increased during the review period and are projected to grow further as broadband penetration increases in U.S. households. Three of the ten leading U.S. travel agencies are now online (Expedia, Travelocity and ebookers), and they collectively hold almost a third of worldwide sales. American Express and Carlson Wagonlit continue to lead the list of major travel agencies, but both generate a significant proportion of their revenue from business other than leisure travel. As the online travel market develops, traditional travel agents will face ever more serious competition from Internet suppliers.

The key challenge facing the industry is how to combine the online bookings model, which is proving successful, with more personalized information and product selection. This is particularly crucial in meeting the needs of older travelers, who will be an increasing segment as the economically powerful Baby Boomer generation ages.


Six years of specific sales data provide a factual and impartial presentation of the market as a whole. The report also evaluates the performance of individual sectors in the market, and provides information about the major companies and brands. Using the SPSS forecasting package, a five-year forecast of U.S. retail sales is created, revealing potential opportunities for growth and product development.

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