Study: Luxury Travelers Rely On Search

Nearly nine in 10 consumers--or 87 percent--who go on high-end vacations use the Internet to shop for travel, according to a study released Wednesday by Yahoo Search Marketing. What's more, the vast majority of those consumers--61 percent--also used the Internet to purchase their most recent vacation.

For the study, Yahoo surveyed 401 luxury travelers--defined as those who had traveled and stayed at luxury hotels at least twice in the last two years.

The majority of luxury travelers--57 percent--sought information from general search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com. More than half--54 percent--also reported visiting online travel agencies to research airfares, hotels, and the like, while 44 percent went to online travel suppliers. The other major online sources of information were travel review chatboards and blogs--frequented by 10 percent of luxury travelers.

Of the group that purchased online, about half--or 49 percent--made a purchase from an online travel agent, while 41 percent bought directly from an online supplier; 10 percent used both online travel agents and suppliers.

Demographically, those Yahoo categorized as luxury travelers had average incomes of at least $70,000, and were likely to be between 40 and 64 years old. Almost three-fourths--71 percent--said they had taken at least five vacations in the last two years.

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