Speaking at the World Travel Internet Conference held on 18th September in the Turks & Caicos, Cheapflights CEO David Soskin told delegates that despite the phenomenal growth in the use of the internet to market travel to date, the best is still yet to come.
The internet is only 14 years old and yet in the past ten years 30 million internet users have grown to over one billion , with numbers still rising.
Referring to the UK market he cited recent statistics which show that “the Internet Generation” of 15- 24 year olds on average spends nearly three hours a week on the net. Furthermore in a 2005 IAB/RAB Media Conjunction Study, 71% of all correspondents said they are using the internet more. Over a quarter of the younger age group said they spend more time on the net than they do reading national newspapers, a traditional medium for travel advertising.
Last year internet advertising grew by 66% greatly aided by the increasing availability of broadband connection and new technology. Travel websites allowing video streaming of destinations and accommodation have become increasingly more sophisticated with technology allowing site users to personalize information taken from the site. Other internet developments such as podcasting, viral advertising and the interactivity of blog sites have created a new and effective way to reach the traveling public, especially the internet savvy younger generation.
David Soskin predicts that with some US $115 billion worth of travel product sold world wide online currently, it is this internet and technology orientated generation who will drive the growth of internet travel exponentially in the next few years.