Online Travel Search Declines?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

A company called Hitwise which looks at how often we look at websites says that travel companies are lower in their list of top sites visited than a year ago.
On the face of it, this tends to suggest that fewer visits are being made to travel websites. Does that mean that people aren’t using them so much? That at least was the suggestion from one industry MD that I listened to on Tuesday this week.
It needn’t be the case however.
Over the last few years, the travel sector has been one of the most heavily promoted exactly at the time as the industry embraced the internet as a way of reaching us the traveller. With other industries lagging, the number of people visiting travel sites shot ahead. Now may be that other industries have caught up. It probably also is linked to the amount of advertising we see that makes us think, let’s look at the website.
Only one company is in the top 10 sites visited, Expedia at number 8 but easyjet, Ryanair and Thomson are at numbers 11, 12 and 13. Lastminute.com comes in at 22, Thomas Cook at 30, Travelodge at 35, BA at 43 and First Choice at 50.
Does it matter?
Not to you and me because when we research a holiday or a trip, there are other sites we might look at. Specialist websites for the area we want to visit or because it is a particular type of holiday we want. There is not one single tourism destination in the top 50, no Spain, Italy, Greece, Blackpool or Torquay but we will still go there in big numbers.
The internet is still a very important tool for us the traveller. It gives us access to research that only travel agents knew 10-15 years ago. Nowadays we sometimes know as much as them; sometimes we know more and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And some of that is we know not to look at general sites but specialised ones instead.

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