Just An Online Minute... Upscale Travelers Book Their Own Way
Now comes word that a majority of affluent Americans are researching travel online and even booking the plans themselves.
According to a new study by Thomas, Townsend & Kent (TTK), a database marketer, and BIGresearch, an intelligence firm, affluent respondents are actively using the Internet as they plan vacations, with 76.3 percent citing the use of search engines and 24.8 percent reading e-mail newsletters. The study found that other popular resources for obtaining travel information were travel magazines (46.7 percent of those surveyed), referrals (41.7 percent) and travel agents (35.2 percent).
Upscale Americans are not only using the Internet as a resource, but are also booking their plans online. The study finds that 48.2 percent of the respondents use travel Web sites such as Expedia and Orbitz, and 51 percent access a travel provider's Web site directly. Only 29.2 percent of respondents report booking their vacations through travel agents.
For the purposes of the study, TTK and BIGresearch surveyed 967 people in TTK's various travel-related databases and identified affluent Americans as individuals with household incomes of at least $100,000.