The Internet has matured as a travel distribution channel with 70 percent of online leisure travelers booking at least some of their personal travel online and 52 percent purchasing all or most of their personal travel online.
As a result, providers must target their marketing growth strategies to the varying attitudes and behaviours of three distinct consumer segments-dubbed ‘Sophisticates’, ‘Occasionals’ and ‘Traditionals’ -in order to remain competitive.
The findings and recommendations are detailed in a new report, ‘US Travel Consumer Survey, 2007’, from Jupiter Research.
Analyst at Jupiter Research and author of the report, Diane Clarkson, said, "Travellers who have wholly embraced online booking enjoy researching travel online while those travellers who continue to use traditional channels feel overwhelmed by online travel research.
"In this competitive marketplace, online travel providers must find ways to both engage and simplify the online travel experience."
Cost considerations also have a significant influence in how travellers research online and where they choose to purchase.
Forty-three percent of travellers who use general search engines are seeking price deals. Cost also surpasses convenience in the decision to purchase travel products in a package among more than half of those travellers who purchased a package.
President of JupiterResearch, David Schatsky, said, "Success in the online travel marketplace will increasingly require both robust consumer content and competitive prices.
"More important will be simplicity of research process. By providing consumers with one-stop-shopping where price comparison and consumer input can be obtained, travellers can make more informed decisions in less time and without anxiety."
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