Eager to make holiday dreams a reality and secure great deals, Australians are booking their travel and accommodation online further in advance than ever before, according to online travel company ZUJI.com.au.
Statistics from ZUJI’s latest Online Travel Report Q3 2006 (July-September) highlight a trend away from last minute online travel bookings, with 48 percent of ZUJI’s hotel reservations made a month or more in advance of travel dates. This is a 19 percent increase on the same period in 2005.
Lead times for flight bookings have also increased over the past 12 months, with 60 percent of flights purchased a month or more in advance throughout the quarter, a jump of 16 percent.
ZUJI.com.au General Manager Peter Smith commented on the trend:
“Australian travellers are becoming increasingly savvy when purchasing travel online. They know that booking at the eleventh hour often results in some sort of compromise - whether it be a price increase, unavailable travel dates or you’re favourite hotel being booked out.
“We dream about our next holiday months in advance, with research and planning beginning way before the packing. ZUJI customers know that they can get great deals with us all year round and don’t have to wait to get the best deal. Booking in advance also allows much more flexibility when it comes to dates, destinations and other travel preferences.”
Figures from the report also reveal an increase in automated processes as consumers gain confidence booking travel online. The use of e-tickets has risen by 26 percent in the past twelve months, and 85 percent of ZUJI bookings continue to be paid online.
For Australians flying overseas, the top 10 international destinations booked on ZUJI.com.au during Q3 2006 were:
1. Bangkok, Thailand
2. London, UK
4. Auckland, New Zealand
5. Hong Kong
6. Los Angeles, USA
7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8. Bali, Indonesia
9. New York, USA
10. San Francisco, USA