Is there method in consumers’ madness?
By Bill Poling
We’ve known for a while that con- sumers are all over the Web — search- ing, metasearching, booking and blogging. But they’re
not all doing it, they’re not all doing it
at once, and sometimes they do it in a
This year’s Leisure Travel Monitor, for
example, shows that consumers tend to
prefer different types of websites and
consult them in a different order, depending on whether they’re searching
for air, hotel or destination information.
Survey respondents said that when
searching for destination information,
they tend to go first to a general search engine like Google or Yahoo, second to the
website of a national tourist board or local visitors
bureau and third to an online travel agency, such as
DESIRABILITY OF VARIOUS
Being able to check the lowest available
Having an easy-to-use booking feature
Photos of the hotel and resort facilities,
Destination maps that illustrate area
activities, dining, shops, attractions, etc.
The ability to enter coupons for savings
on airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rent-
als and vacation packages
In the search for airline or hotel information, however, the OTAs rule.
For air searches, 41% said their first
stop is an online agency, while 40% go
to an airline site first. Only 13% make a
metasearch site their first choice, but 24%
said such sites were their second choice.
For hotels searches, 30% of consumers
also rank OTAs first, while 25% start at
a general search engine; another 21% go
to the site of a specific chain, and 10%
start at the site of an individual property.
Only 5% start hotel searches at metasearch sites.
The option of scheduling and confirming
vacation activities in advance of arrival
Photos of the area
Expedia. Only 1% said they begin such searches at
WIDESPREAD WEB USE
Another key finding in the Monitor is
that the Internet truly has become ubiquitous across demographic groups.
As recently as three years ago, there
was a significant gap between age groups, as a
See WEB on Page 16
WHEN THEIR CARIBBEAN TRIPS
INCLUDE A CHOICE OF TWO ITALIAN SHIPS,
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Based on double occupancy only. Cruise-only fares do not include (i) the cruise fuel supplement, if any, and (ii) certain government taxes and fees on cruise travel from $59.48 to $81.95.
Fares, charges, taxes, and fees are subject to change before payment in full. Fares are valid for US and Canadian residents only and subject to availability. Fares are in U. S. dollars, per person, based on double cabin occupancy for the lowest cabin category, and may be higher for desired
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