Traveler’s First Trip is Often the Internet

Whether it’s used for research or for purchase, the Internet is an increasingly valuable tool for travelers. According to an April 2003 My AvantGo survey of more than 1,000 individuals, 52 percent purchased more than half of their travel needs online, with 29 percent indicating that they made all their travel arrangements on the Web. As an added bonus, 30 percent plan to increase their online travel purchases over the coming year.

Of those that have made online travel purchases, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) bought airline tickets, more than two-thirds (66 percent) booked a hotel room, and half secured a rental car.

The sites that seem to be the most popular for travelers are consistently, Travelocity, and Orbitz, garnering 67 percent, 60 percent, and 52 percent of online travel visits respectively.

Weekly Traffic to Online Travel Sites, April 2003
(Unique Audience)
Week Ending Expedia Travelocity Orbitz
April 6, 2003 2,032,000 1,779,000 1,484,000
April 13, 2003 2,094,000 1,786,000 1,585,000
April 20, 2003 2,151,000 1,684,000 1,661,000
April 27, 2003 2,445,000 1,950,000 1,881,000
APRIL TOTAL 8,722,000 7,199,000 6,611,000
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

The My AvantGo survey found that an overwhelming number of personal travelers purchased their trip needs online, compared to business travelers (74 percent vs. 41 percent), and Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) found that 37 percent of respondents to their 2003 study made air travel purchases, with most visiting 2 or 3 sites first.

On the investigative side, 57 percent of the 923 U.S. participants in Jupiter’s 2003 study researched lodging; 52 percent researched air; and 21 percent researched car rentals. Additionally, 41 percent researched destination activities, while 10 percent researched vacation packages.

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