Travel search engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN fuel bookings online
and off-line. But the majority of travel purchases occur well after
the initial search session, according to a study by comScore
The study, which
was commissioned by Yahoo and interactive advertising network Media
Contacts, consisted of a survey of 500 consumers and observation of
a comScore panel of Web users in April and May.
The Role of Web
Search Within the Travel Research Cycle found that almost one-third
of the estimated 35 million consumers who searched online for
travel in April made a booking online or off-line within eights
weeks of their initial search.
Though they were
using the Web to research their travel options, 20% later made
their purchases off-line, the study found.
highlights how companies that depend on off-line channels can
effectively use online search advertising or free listings to land
For those who
booked off-line, cruises (35%) were booked most often, while
airline tickets (12%) were booked the least. Car rentals were
booked 15% off-line.
Weve long known
that the Web is an invaluable resource for travel planning, and now
weve further quantified the impact of search engines in driving
travel bookings, said James Lamberti, vice president of comScore
Search Marketing Solutions.
The latent and
multichannel effects of search are particularly noteworthy,
Lamberti added. For every travel purchase occurring directly after
a search referral and additional five search-related purchases
occur at a later time, across both online and off-line
In other findings,
85% of survey participants said Google, MSN Search and Yahoo Search
are much more or somewhat more valuable travel resources than
Fifteen percent of
respondents indicated that off-line tools are somewhat or much more
valuable travel resources than the three major search
latent impact of Web searching, the study found that 20% of the
travel bookings occurred directly after the search referred the
consumer to a booking source, whether online or