Online travel agents have `hiked their prices on package holidays and flights` according to research carried out for financial services firm Goldfish.
The research, carried out for Goldfish by Datamonitor, shows that online travel sites have increased prices of leisure services, including package holidays and flights, by a total of 8.4% in the past 12 months - double the general rise for all goods on the internet where prices went up by 4.2%.
Goldfish it said it believes that there are two main reasons for the price increases. Firstly the need for large, publicly quoted businesses to achieve a profit and secondly the strong consumer demand for last minute packages. In contrast it says that prices on the high street are falling.
Goldfish marketing director Charlie Herbert said: “Consumers hoping to save money by making late bookings online should consider shopping around, both on the Internet and the high street. Online travel agents have hiked their prices on package holidays and flights, so people looking for a bargain may be disappointed.”
He added: “The market suggests that online retailers have carved out a niche and have got the high street worried the fact that many high street travel agents are cutting prices would support this view.”
The Goldfish e-tail price index (ePI) claims to be the only index of UK on-line consumer prices. Started in July 2000, it is produced on a monthly basis and tracks 1,500 products, the prices of which are checked at over 150 e-tailers.