Online travel sales in the US are predicted to reach $64 billion by 2007, more than double the figures for 2001, according to market research by Jupiter Media Metrix.
Jupiter predicts that despite a dip at the end of last year following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the internet will account for 22% of all travel bookings in the US in 2007, up from 11% in 2001.
“While the travel industry took a strong hit in the wake of September 11, the Internet as a channel for booking travel is not only growing stronger, but actually becoming the method of choice for many consumers and businesses for both bookings and information,” said Jupiter analyst Jared Blank.
“A tight economy for the past year, coupled with the aftermath of September 11, is pushing consumers to the Web for travel deals in penny-pinching times. Travel companies need to point out good values to their customers, such as packages or cruise specials that the customer may not have thought of or found otherwise.”
And according to Jupiter an increase in managed corporate travel bookings travel is one of the reasons why the amount of travel booked on the web is set to jump. It believes the desire for cost savings will push companies to make their employees purchase their travel online, rather than just use the internet for travel research and information.
Jupiter predicts that managed online travel in the US - with airline tickets accounting for the bulk of all online bookings - will grow more than 400 percent to $27 billion by 2007 - up from only $5billion in 2001. Channel share for the managed business travel sector is expected to quadruple from 7% in 2001 to 26% by 2007.