For years, there have been predictions that
one day online travel bookings would overtake telephone bookings.
That day may have come.
In 2005, Americans
booked more trips online than by any other method, according to a
preliminary report prepared jointly by the Travel Industry
Association and D.K. Shifflet & Associates.
The report found
35% of transportation reservations were booked online in 2005, up
seven percentage points from 2004.
phone reservations were down 16%.
accounted for 4% of transportation bookings, down slightly from
2004, when agents made 5% of transportation bookings.
The trend was
similar for lodging reservations, as 25% of travelers booked hotels
online in 2005, up three points from 2004. Most used hotel supplier
sites. Supplier-direct phone reservations for hotels fell
for 4% of hotel bookings, down a point from 2004.
The report also
showed that when Americans book travel online, they spend more. On
average, Americans spent $754, excluding transportation, on trips
booked online. They spent $406, excluding transportation, when
Trips booked online
included an average of 2.3 activities, compared with 1.7 activities
for those booked offline.
The average age of
travelers booking online is 44, compared with 45 for off-line. The
average age of travelers booking with travel agents was
The TIA and D.K.
Shifflet & Associates expect to release their full report in
report supports research released by the TIA last November that
found 75% of Americans used the Internet to plan trips in 2005, up
from 68% in 2004.
In that report, the
TIA said about 79 million people are using the Internet for travel
purposes and that 64 million purchased an airline ticket, hotel
room or rental car.