RealTime IT News

Number of Online Travel/Leisure Shoppers Doubles

Twenty-seven million adults shopped online for travel and leisure services last year, doubling 1998's total of 13.4 million, according to a new study.

eCRM company Cyber Dialogue said that travel shoppers now make up more than one-third of the total online population, and nearly half of all men online (44 percent) turn to the Web for travel and leisure purchases.

Cyber Dialogue found that online travel shoppers spend $2,517 in online purchases a year, which is $500 more than the average online adult shopper spends. In addition, online travel shoppers spend an average of $705 per transaction, which is nearly $200 more than that of the general online user ($517). Online adults make an average of 3.3 online travel arrangement transactions per year.

The issues surrounding a proposed travel portal from four airlines -- code-named T2 -- are amplified by Cyber Dialogue's finding that more than three-quarters of online travel shoppers agree or strongly agree that brands are more important online than off-line, the company said.

Specifically, online travel shoppers are said to be twice as likely as the general online population to make a different airline purchase based on information found on the Web.

"Established travel-centric Web properties such as Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline must focus on understanding their customers to overcome the brand equity the major airlines will be able to collectively leverage online," said Qaalfa Dibeehi, director of Cyber Dialogue's Internet Consumer Practice.

"With the online travel shopping segment growing so rapidly, having the ability to establish lifelong customer relationships will be the key factor in reaching this affluent, brand-sensitive and shopping-intensive group."

The survey results are from Cyber Dialogue's Internet Consumer Practice, a syndicated research service featuring detailed attitudinal and behavioral data and analysis.