According to the Travel Industry Association of America, an estimated 85 percent of this summer’s travelers chose to drive rather than fly to their destinations, and a apparent winner of this trend is online mapping and location service MapQuest, the wholly-owned subsidiary of America Online.
According to the latest Comscore/Media Metrix data for August, the number of unique visitors to MapQuest.com jumped to nearly 23 million, up 63 percent over last summer. Overall, the service added nearly as many users in the past six months as it did in its first three years combined. MapQuest.com served nearly 900 million maps and directions this summer.
According to Dulles, Va.-based AOL officials, Mapquest generates the majority of all Internet mapping page views. The company also licenses the service with more than 1,400 partners who are currently using MapQuest products on their business websites, and “hundreds of thousands” of other websites that link directly to MapQuest.com
MapQuest provides detailed maps and driving directions that can be printed, downloaded to a PDA, e-mailed or faxed. A business locator feature helps travelers find restaurants, ATMs, entertainment and attractions along the way; aerial views allow people to learn more about the surrounding areas; and the MapQuest road trip planner provides a customized travel package of maps, directions and destination information.