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Last Minute Travelers May Boost Online Travel Market

  |  July 12, 2000   |  Comments

Nearly 70 percent of the adult Internet population in the US has taken an overnight trip at least 100 miles from their home, according to a survey by PhoCusWright, Inc., and 25 percent of them are last-minute travelers.

Nearly 70 percent of the adult Internet population in the US has taken an overnight trip at least 100 miles from their home, according to a survey by PhoCusWright, Inc.

The survey found that 100 million US adults have used the Internet in the past month, with 68 million of them traveling overnight at least 100 miles from home. One-quarter of all US Internet users (25 million people) are last-minute travelers, according to the survey. Last-minute travelers are classified as those who took unplanned, last-minute trips at least 100 miles from home during the last six months.

The survey classifies last-minute travelers as a young, upscale population that has increasingly gained the attention of online travel retailers, including both generalists and specialists, such as LastMinuteTravel.com and UK-based Lastminute.com. Online last-minute shoppers also include a disproportionate number young adults, women, and West Coast residents.

"This survey confirms our belief that the potential for the last-minute online travel market is huge and will only continue to grow," said Philip Wolf, president and CEO of PhoCusWright. "Niche providers such as Priceline.com, LastMinuteTravel.com, and lastminute.com will need accelerate their efforts to attract and retain customers as new entrants, such as Hotwire, emerge.

According to research by MMXI Europe, Lastminute.com has consistently been the No. 1 travel site in the UK, reaching 5.5 percent of all Internet users in May. In France, Germany, and Sweden, the most popular travel sites in May were Web sites of the national -- SNCF.fr, Deutschebahn.de, and SJ.se.

As Europeans become more confident on the Internet, they are also visiting the Web sites of established travel companies. Strong national and European brands, such as British-Airways.com, Nouvelles-Frontieres.fr, Deutschebahn.de, and Ving.se have enjoyed top positions since the beginning of the year.

Europe's Internet users have different preferences for travel sites not only depending on where they live, but also on their gender, according to MMXI Europe. For example, visitors on the UK rail Web sites TheTrainline.com and Railtrack.co.uk are about 75 percent men but visitors of the German Deutschebahn.de are only 58.7 percent men. Also, of all people visiting Lastminute.com, men make up 56.1 percent in the UK but only 37.1 percent in France.

Top Travel Sites in Europe
UK Germany
Site Reach % April
Site Reach %
1 1 Lastminute.com 5.5 1 1 Deutschebahn.de 11.6
5 2 Railtrack.co.uk 3.1 2 2 Lufthansa.de 2.3
10 3 Thomascook.co.uk 3.0 4 3 TUI.de 1.5
2 4 British-Airways.com 2.6 6 4 Flug.de 1.3
9 5 TheTrainLine.com 2.5 5 5 Reiseplanung.de 1.3
France Sweden
Site Reach % April
Site Reach %
1 1 SNCF.fr 8.0 1 1 Sj.se 4.3
2 2 Degriftour.fr 3.3 2 2 Mrjet.com 3.3
3 3 Nouvelles-Frontieres.fr 3.3 4 3 Reseguiden.se 3.1
5 4 Travelprice.com 2.2 5 4 Ving.se 2.6
6 5 Lastminute.com 2.1 6 5 Resfeber.se 2.5
Source: MMXI Europe

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