Online travel gets consumer boost

JupiterResearch finds that the Internet has matured as a travel distribution channel with 70 percent of online leisure travelers booking at least some of their personal travel online and 52 percent purchasing all or most of their personal travel online. As a result, providers must target their marketing growth strategies to the varying attitudes and behaviors of three distinct consumer segments—dubbed “Sophisticates”, “Occasionals” and “Traditionals”—in order to remain competitive. The findings and recommendations are detailed in a new report, “US Travel Consumer Survey, 2007.”

“Travelers who have wholly embraced online booking enjoy researching travel online while those travelers who continue to use traditional channels feel overwhelmed by online travel research,” said Diane Clarkson, Analyst at JupiterResearch and author of the report. “In this competitive marketplace, online travel providers must find ways to both engage and simplify the online travel experience.”

Cost considerations also have a significant influence in how travelers research online and where they choose to purchase. Forty-three percent of travelers who use general search engines are seeking price deals. Cost also surpasses convenience in the decision to purchase travel products in a package among more than half of those travelers who purchased a package.

“Success in the online travel marketplace will increasingly require both robust consumer content and competitive prices,” said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch. “More important will be simplicity of research process. By providing consumers with one-stop-shopping where price comparison and consumer input can be obtained, travelers can make more informed decisions in less time and without anxiety.”

The complete findings of this report are immediately available to JupiterResearch clients online at www.jupiterresearch.com .
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