Sites or Search Engines? Experienced Shoppers Going Direct

Sites or Search Engines? Experienced Shoppers Going Direct

Discount airline web sites are receiving increasing visits from US Internet users, and travel research is less inclined to be initiated from a search engine than it was a year ago, according to a new study by Hitwise.

Bill Tancer, Vice President of Research at Hitwise, said "The data indicates that consumers are becoming more sophisticated in their online travel shopping. Having gained familiarity with the top online travel agencies, hotel sites, and airline sites, they are less likely to initiate travel research and purchasing from a search engine."

Despite recent press coverage, several of the largest travel search engines, including,,,,, and - only accounted for 0.45 percent of total visits to the travel category in October 2004.

Among travel shoppers that do use search engines (travel and general), their most frequent searches are for accommodations. Seven of the top 10 search terms for the Hitwise "Destinations and Accommodations" category were for specific hotels and destinations.

Most Popular Search Terms for Travel Destinations and Accommodation Category
4 weeks ending Nov. 13, 2004

1. Holiday Inn
2. Hotels
3. Hotels.Com
4. Las Vegas
5. Hampton Inn
6. Disneyland
7. Motel 6
8. Best Western
9. Comfort Inn
10. Days Inn

Most Popular Search Terms containing the word "resort"
4 weeks ending Nov. 13, 2004

1. Brighton Ski Resort
2. Boreal Ski Resort
3. Disneyland Resort
4. Atlantis Resort
5. Wynn Resort
6. Kalahari Resort
7. Heavenly Ski Resort
8. Sandals Resort
9. Walt Disney World Resort
10. Mountain High Ski Resort

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