66% of Leisure Travelers Now Use Internet to Book
According to the US based National Travel Monitor 66% of domestic US leisure travelers now use the internet to plan some part of their trips. For those booking a hotel 31% used an online travel site such as Expedia, Travelocity or a number of others, with 26% making use of an online search engine ala Google, Yahoo etc. Hotel chain web sites registered in at 21% while individual hotel sites came in at 10% and aggregating sites that include a number of engines and compare rates rounded out at 5% and the remaining being a variety of sources,
Certainly the trend now towards online travel plans back of the rapidly expanding low cost airline carriers and even international chain hotels have seen booking levels in many properties range from 20-30% for internet distributed business. While the web has somewhat leveled the playing field by allowing independent properties access to a global market, the jury remains out in a declining market whether brand loyalty or perception still pushes the ultimate booking to the familiar name.