Hispanic Presence Felt At Travel Sites

Hispanics are the largest U.S. minority group and the Latin influence is becoming a noticeable online presence. In fact, Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) predicts that the number of Hispanic online households will have grown from approximately 5.5 million in 2003 to 8 million – or 68 percent – in 2007.


Online Hispanic
Household Estimates
2001 4.5 million
2002 5.0 million
2003 5.5 million
2004 6.2 million
2005 6.8 million
2006 7.4 million
2007 8.0 million
Note: Hispanic households can be of any race.
July 2002, U.S. only.
Source: Jupiter Research

The spending increases along with the population. HispanTelligence, the research services unit of Hispanic Business Inc., found that U.S. Hispanic purchasing power grew 8 percent to almost $540 billion in 2002, swelling to $638 billion by 2010.

comScore Media Metrix identified travel as the largest category of online spending among the U.S. Hispanic population, with 43 percent visiting a travel site in June 2003. Comparatively, 49 percent of the general Internet population visited an online travel site during the same time period. However, a side-by-side comparison shows the differences between Hispanic Internet users and the general population.


Unique Visitors to Travel Category Total U.S.,
Home, Work and University Locations, June 2003
Hispanic Internet Users All Internet Users
Rank Unique
Visitors
(000)
Rank Unique
Visitors
(000)
Total Internet Users 12,533 Total Internet Users 146,476
Travel Category 5,406 Travel Category 71,201
1. MAPQUEST.COM 1,988 1. MAPQUEST.COM 30,031
2. Expedia Travel 1,249 2. Expedia Travel 18,125
3. Trip Network Inc. 956 3. Travelocity 14,316
4. Travelocity 927 4. Trip Network Inc. 12,739
5. AOL Proprietary Travel 863 5. ORBITZ.COM 12,667
6. ORBITZ.COM 859 6. Hotels.com Sites 8,014
7. PRICELINE.COM 629 7. AOL Proprietary Travel 7,932
8. HOTWIRE.COM 617 8. HOTWIRE.COM 7,733
9. Hotels.com Sites 583 9. PRICELINE.COM 7,411
10. Yahoo Travel 419 10. SOUTHWEST.COM 5,622
Source: comScore Media Metrix

Visitation by U.S. Hispanics to the travel category overall has grown by 7 percent in the past 6 months, and 3 percent between May and June alone. The most significant increases in the past 6 months have been to Hotels.com (124 percent growth) and Hotwire (66 percent growth), followed by Travelocity (32 percent), Priceline (29 percent), and Expedia (24 percent). Growth to the travel category was only measured at 4 percent for the general population over the past 6 months.

The top 3 airlines’ sites were the same for Hispanic users and total Internet users: Southwest, American Airlines, and Delta. JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, which offer full shopping and booking functionality in Spanish, are ranked significantly higher among U.S. Hispanic Internet users. In fact, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines are the only two major airlines with Web sites that reach a higher percentage of Spanish-preferred and bilingual Internet users than total U.S. Internet users.

Not surprisingly, airlines that serve major Hispanic population centers and destinations, such as America West, Mexicana and AeroMexico, rank significantly higher among Hispanics compared to the total U.S. Internet population.

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