Consumers like the Internet because they
feel it gives them more control over their travel purchases, but
many go back to the phone when booking complicated trips, according
to a new study.
The study, titled
It Doesnt Have to Suck: Making Web Travel Planning Better, was
prepared by the Travel Industry Association in cooperation with
Forrester Research and released at the TIAs TravelCom 2006
conference in New York. It reflects responses from 2,468 leisure
of leisure travelers are plugged into the Web, and the study says
that they are increasingly using it to research and book travel.
About 35.2 million households are expected to spend $74.4 million
buying travel online. Another 20.3 million are expected to research
online but buy offline. Sixty-eight percent said they went online
to book trips to visit friends or relatives in the past year; 49%
booked a weekend getaway.
to one or two cities accounted for 39% of the trips booked during
the past 12 months. Holiday travel accounted for 26% of online
The research shows
that as trips become more involved, travelers become increasingly
reluctant to book online.
Anniversaries/second honeymoons and honeymoons, for example,
accounted for 6% and 2%, respectively, of online
The study found
about 46% of consumers research their travel options online, then
buy offline. And 63% said they used Web sites help
recommended that Web sites take the following steps to improve the
online buying experience for consumers:
Audit to find out
whats not selling and what product information is not available
Rethink the way
they present search results, including clearly presenting product
details, destination attributes and rate restrictions.
Offer an internal
keyword-based search engine to help travelers search for
store and retrieve information so that they can build on it.
content to fill in certain information gaps.
reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].