The Internet has become as essential as a
road map for consumers planning vacations and other trips. Of the
98 million travelers with access to the Internet, nearly 64 million
use it for travel planning, according to the new Travelers Use of
the Internet study conducted by the Travel Industry Association
There was no growth
in the number of people using the Web to plan trips, compared with
2003. But the number of online buyers has risen. Two-thirds of
online planners, 45 million, booked online in 2004, a 6% increase
The TIA said
airline tickets were included in 82% of online travel purchases, up
from 75% a year ago. A TIA spokeswoman attributed the increase to
aggressive efforts by the airlines to encourage travelers to book
tickets on the Web instead of other distribution
The TIA said hotel stays
were part of 67% of online travel purchases, while car/RV rentals
were included in 40% of purchases.
The survey also
found that e-mailed travel promotions are popular with online
travel planners. Some 35 million travelers have signed up with a
travel suppliers Web site or receive promotions and other related
news by e-mail.
Some 11 million
online travel planners have taken trips promoted via e-mail that
they otherwise wouldnt have taken, the TIA said.
promotions are becoming more influential in determining or
influencing travel purchases, the TIA survey found online travel
planners also look to friends and family, travel agents, suppliers
and travel guides for information and ideas.