COMPETITION: Convenience is edging out price as the most
effective decision-driver for online travel package buyers, a
PhoCusWright survey found. In 2004, 28% of shoppers purchasing a
combination of airline tickets and hotel accommodations from the
same Web site said they did so to save time, compared to 27% who
cited discounts as their incentive, according to the research firms
Consumer Travel Trends Survey, Seventh Edition. The effect was even
more pronounced among those who tended to be loyal to one site:
Among those who used just one Web site to buy travel, 37% cited
convenience and 25% were looking for discounts.
THE STUDY found that the number of adult
Americans buying travel online increased by 14% in 2004 to 40
million. "Those sub-segments of online travelers that have a
significantly higher incidence of online travel shopping and
purchasing tend to be the more seasoned travelers and savvy
Internet veterans," said PhoCusWright analyst and report author
Susan Steinbrink. Specifically, she noted, those predisposed to
shop and purchase travel online tend to purchase combinations of
components, favor online travel agencies, use multiple sites to
purchase trip components and be men under the age of 45.
AMONG OTHER notable findings from the survey:
* Half of all online combination purchases consist
of air and hotel; 24% are air, hotel and car; 23% are air and car;
and just 4% are hotel and car.
* More hotel chains are pushing their way onto
the list of the top three Web sites used for hotel reservations, as
Hilton and Marriott outpaced Hotels.com and Priceline.com, and
contributed to declines for Expedia and Travelocity.
* Business travel rebounded, with 44% of
respondents saying they had taken a flight on business, up from 33%
in 2003 (and favorably comparing to the flat 90-91% who flew for
The Student Youth Travel Associations annual
travel conference is scheduled for Sept. 17 to 21 in Memphis at the
Memphis Cook Convention Center. For information, log onto www.syta.org or call
FAM OF THE WEEK
Departure: Aug. 21 from Bangkok, land only.
Length: 10 nights.
Sponsor: Abercrombie & Kent, Oak Brook,
Cost: $2,011 per person, double. Includes hotel
accommodations, most meals, transfers and sightseeing. Air within
Asia is priced at about $987 additional.
Trip: Visits Bangkok; Phnom Penh and Siem Reap,
Cambodia; Hong Kong; and Hanoi, Vietnam.
Noteworthy: The single supplement is $540;
companions are eligible at a rate of $2,161.
Contact: (800) 323-7308; fax: (630) 954-3324;
e-mail: [email protected].