DC -- While the number of Americans using the Internet appears to have reached
a plateau, those who plan and book trips or vacations online continues to climb
rapidly, according to the Travelers Use of the Internet, 2005 Edition, released
today by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA).
annual report, this year issued jointly with TIA co-sponsor and contributor USDM.net,
shows that the Internet continues to grow as a dominant channel for both reaching
and transacting with todays travel consumers. In fact, while growth in the
number of U.S. adult travelers using the Internet for any purpose has slowed,
the number of online travelers who used the Internet to actually plan and book
trips grew significantly this past year.
results indicate a majority of online travelers (78 percent or 79 million Americans)
turned to the Internet for travel or destination information in 2005 much
higher than the 65 percent of online travelers in 2004.
findings also indicate that 82 percent of travelers who plan their trips online
now also book reservations online. That indicates more than 64 million Americans
bought or reserved an airline ticket, hotel room, rental car or package tour online
this past year up from 70 percent in 2004.
are turning to the Internet to plan and book their trips in greater numbers than
ever before and its become increasingly obvious that the way we sell and
distribute travel has changed forever, said Dr. Suzanne Cook, TIAs
Senior Vice President of Research. With the increases in online travel planning,
other planning sources have declined, such as traditional travel agents.
research shows that women now outnumber men online and that women are more likely
to plan and book leisure trips, noted Dr. Cook. Its important
that travel companies pay attention to that demographic and market themselves
trends and data to emerge from the Travelers Use of the Internet 2005:
More than nine out of 10 online travel planners said they used the Internet to
plan a personal trip last year, while a quarter planned business trips online.
- The most popular types of Web sites used for travel planning are online
travel agency Web sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline (67 percent);
search engine Web sites such as Google or Yahoo! (64 percent); and company-owned
Web sites for airlines and hotels (54 percent).
- Almost half of online
travel planners also use destination Web sites such as those maintained
by convention and visitor bureaus to plan trips. In addition, one in three
online travel planners checks one or more Web sites and then calls a toll-free
number for more information.
- With the increases in online travel planning,
other planning sources have declined, such as traditional travel agents
down to 31 percent consulting a travel agent for travel plans in the past year
from 39 percent last year.
- Today, 34 percent of online travel bookers
claim to make all of their travel purchases online. Importantly, nearly eight
in ten online bookers (78%) use the Internet to do at least half of all their
- Airline tickets, lodging and rental cars continue
to be the top three travel items booked online. However, there was significant
growth in online bookings for cultural event tickets, theme/amusement park tickets,
travel packages and tickets for sporting events.
- Leisure travelers
spent an average of $1,288 when booking their most recent trip online in 2005;
business travelers spent an average of $1,357 when booking their most recent trip
on the Internet.
- When it comes to leisure travel, women are more likely
to be online travel planners (56%) and bookers (55%).
With so many Americans
planning and booking their travel online, TIA and USDM.net expanded the survey
this year to better gauge how consumers respond to the various forms of Internet-based
2005 report shows that the most effective online marketing techniques that trigger
a consumer response are unsponsored search engine results (36 percent); e-mail
recommendations by friends or colleagues (34 percent); links on Web sites (26
percent); and opt-in e-mails or e-newsletters (21 percent).
this years survey results clearly show, consumers are much more responsive
to strategic online marketing communications, such as organic search engine returns,
than they are to paid media, such as a pop-up or banner ads, said Jennifer
Barbee, President of USDM.net.
online media is productive and valuable, travel industry suppliers may want to
reconsider their budget allotments for online and traditional media versus online
marketing, Barbee said. Those savvy enough to invest more travel marketing
dollars in a strategic, online marketing campaign could reap much bigger rewards
for their destination, hotel, attraction or other travel business.
Industry Association of America
TIA is the national, non-profit organization
representing all components of the $600 billion travel industry. TIA's mission
is to represent the whole of the U.S. travel industry to promote and facilitate
increased travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit