Latest research by Jupiter MMXI shows that over the last six months, the number of Europeans visiting travel websites has increased by almost four million people.
Since Jupiter MMXI started measuring Internet behaviour in Europe in October 1999, travel websites have been very popular destinations for Internet users at home. An analysis of the last six months of data from November 2000 to April 2001, shows the number of Unique Visitors to travel sites from home increased by nearly a million in the three biggest markets of the UK, France and Germany. In the UK a growth from 3,108,000 to 4,071,000; in France from 1,483,000 to 2,424,000 and in Germany from 2,562,000 to 3,569,000 Unique Visitors.
Europeans visit travel websites not only to find late cheap deals, but also to research their holidays in advance. Jupiter MMXI`s data indicates that there are clear seasonal trends in surfing behaviour on travel sites. For instance, in the UK and Germany the peaks in usage are in July and January and February. In France, peaks are seen in July and March. During both peaks people in these countries spent more time on travel sites than popular categories including retail and news and information sites.
Websites offering information and tickets, especially for air and rail travel are particularly popular across Europe. For example, in the UK Easyjet.com, Britishairways.com, Railtrack.co.uk and Thetrainline.com have all established themselves amongst the top ten travel sites. However, Lastminute.com, Thomascook.co.uk, Expedia.co.uk and Ebookers.com have also strong positions.
Lastminute.com is popular amongst most Europeans being the only site to appear in the top ten in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Spain. In Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Switzerland the national train operators SNCF.fr, Bahn.de, SJ.se Trenitalia.it, and SBB.ch are the most popular travel destinations.