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Americans go online for travel information

Industry Standard

By David Lake

(IDG) -- For many Americans, the Internet has become as indispensable as the traditional travel agent when it comes to travel-related research, according to a study released by NFO Plog Research, a subsidiary of research marketer NFO WorldGroup.

The study "the fifth annual" surveyed 2,100 business and leisure travelers online and found that 95 percent of Web surfers use some type of newer technology to gather travel-related information. Almost half of the respondents said they used e-mail to obtain travel-related data. And 93 percent said they visited Web sites when planning travel for vacations. Last year, only two-thirds of the respondents said they used the Net for travel planning activities. INFOCENTER
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Fewer Americans say they go online to gather business-related flight information than leisure information. But that number, too, is climbing. Sixty-seven percent of respondents now say they look for business-related flight information on the Web, up from 52 percent in 2000.

According to the report, most travel seekers visit actual airlines' Web sites when hunting for information. Respondents say they go next to online pure-plays like Travelocity and

Travelers are now less likely than before to use the Web to visit travel agents. Only 42 percent of business travelers say they gather information from online travel agents, down from 70 percent in 2000. And 55 percent of leisure travelers said they visit online travel agents for information, down 1 percent from last year's survey data.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said they strongly agreed that the Net was a reliable way to make travel bookings - down from last year's 67 percent. And fewer than 40 percent strongly agreed that the Net saves time when making flight arrangements. Despite their misgivings, Americans say they are increasingly using the Web to make reservations.

Almost half of Americans surveyed said they have booked either airfare, hotel reservations or car rentals online this year, up from barely more than one-fourth last year. Twenty percent of business travelers say they have made such bookings this year, up from 16 percent in 2000.


Plog Research

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