Tourism Industry News
The Current State of Online Travel
Given the severity of the problems in other markets, less mainstream attention has been placed on the state of the travel industry.
Compete analyzed online activity within the air and hotel categories to identify if shifts are taking place in consumer interest in these products. The findings show a clear decline in online travel research activity, with actual booking and purchase activity also trending downward.
Air and hotel shopper volumes (consumers researching but not necessarily purchasing) have both gone into negative territory compared to a year ago, a first for 2008. In each month of 2008 to this point, online air and hotel shoppers had been up versus the prior year periods. Cautious consumers then began thinking less about travel in September, and started to abandon travel websites in October.
While only a fraction of shoppers end up completing a purchase in any given month, these declines represent an important shrinking of the pool of vacationers, last minute shoppers, and undecided consumers to which travel marketers can generate transactions from.
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