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Traffic to Travel Websites Increases

Good news for the travel industry -- it seems that there is a bit of a rebound starting to form online, which might pull the industry out of its post-9/11 slump, according to statistics from Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore.

NetRatings revealed that traffic to top online travel sites spiked in January 2002, posting double-digit growth since September 2001. And comScore likewise reported that record numbers of Internet users visited travel sites in January 2002.

ComScore claims about 94.3 million people visited a travel site last month, up 9 percent on December 2001, and beating the previous record of 94 million set in August 2001. ComScore is also naming Expedia.com the most popular travel site in the world, with over 16 million visitors last month. Althought comScore and NetRatings differ in the rank of the remaining top four sites, the sites on both lists are Orbitz, Travelocity, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines.

"The events of September 11 greatly affected the online travel category, as traffic to travel sites dropped initially," said Lisa Strand, director and chief analyst, NetRatings. "Promotions and special sales helped the recovery, which was especially noteworthy in January, after the holidays."

Here's to hoping the upward trend continues!

(Sources: NUA Internet Surveys, Neilsen/NetRatings)

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