Posted by: jwtarr | December 1, 2008

Fewer People Looking to Online Travel Sites

We know that as an avid reader of our travel blog you would never stray from us.  But for many large travel booking websites out there like Orbitz, this year hasn’t been so kind.  I saw a very interesting story today in the Chicago Tribune by Julie Johnsson which summarizes the recent news.  According to the research group ComScore Inc., 14 percent fewer people visted web travel site portals.  The research group says the sharp decline in consumer confidence is to blame.

While web traffic fell on nearly every major travel site, it was the big three powerhouse sites, according to ComScore, that took the biggest hit. 

  • Orbitz– 23 percent decline in traffic
  • Expedia– 25 percent decline in traffic
  • Travelocity– 16 percent decline in traffic

Anticipating numbers such as these and the tough times ahead, Orbitz announced plans to cut 10% of its U.S. based workforce.

Two sites seemed to buck the trend though.  Priceline.com saw a 24 percent increase and Kayak.com saw a 93 percent increase.  Check out the graphic that the Chicago Tribune put together.

One caveat here is that the numbers don’t necessarily paint the full picture.  The research group only analyzed visitors to the sites from the U.S.  The omission of international internet traffic had sites like Expedia crying foul.

But that aside, one line from the story really caught my attention:

“More than half of 1,000 consumers surveyed by ComScore in October planned to change their travel plans this holiday season. Of those altering plans, 39 percent said they would opt to stay at home.”

What is your opinion on this?  Do you and your family still plan on taking that vacation this winter?  Are you still planning on traveling for New Year’s?  We are interested in your response and want to hear what you think is the real deal.  Use the comments link below to post your feedback!

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Responses

  1. Perhaps I’m an eternal optimist but I think online travel sites will continue to resonate with consumers based on the idea consumers will want as much information as possible about where they’re going before they make travel planning decision.

    Mark


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