Women Buy More Travel Online Than Men

Women convert from researching a specific online travel product more frequently than men, according to a survey by BURST! Media.

The study polled 3,500 BURST! Media network visitors ages 18 and older who made at least one overnight trip in the past six months.

According to the survey’s findings, 64.1 percent of women who researched auto rentals online also made an online auto reservation versus 58.5 percent of men. A similar gender gap was measured for airline flights, with 64.6 percent of women who researched flights online having made an online ticket purchase versus 59.0 percent of men. There was less difference in terms of hotel accommodations: 56.9 percent of women who researched hotels on the Web had booked a room online versus 55.0 percent of men.

Overall, the survey found 46.9 percent of adult women have made a travel purchase of some kind in last six months versus 39.4 percent of men.

“The conversion figures for women were surprising,” said Chuck Moran, market research manager for BURST! Media. “Past research found that men were the bigger travel converters, because they are generally considered to be more impulsive shoppers online, whereas women are usually thought of as bigger online browsers.”

Those findings contradict similar research conducted by JupiterResearch, said Diane Clarkson, an online travel analyst.

“In our analysis, there isn’t a significant difference between men and women in terms of research or purchase patterns, specifically in the car, flight, and hotel categories,” Clarkson said.

The only significant difference between men and women’s online travel activities is in researching activities for travel destinations online. JupiterResearch finds 43 percent of women engage in such research, compared to 34 percent of men.

The difference between the studies may be attributable to the difference in the methodologies. BURST! Media surveyed visitors to its networks, while JupiterResearch polls a statistically representative random sampling of respondents.

The BURST! survety also found that the most popular online travel content that draws visitors back to a given site is destination information (44.0 percent of respondents) and the ability to check flight, hotel, and rental car rates (40.8 percent). Those listings were followed by travel promotions and specials (35.3 percent); travel bulletins and alerts (19.1 percent); the ability to personalize pages (9.7 percent); and opt-in newsletters (8.0 percent).

The most common online travel activity among respondents was using the Internet solely as a research tool for travel destinations, with 63 percent of respondents saying they’ve done so in the last six months.

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