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Online Travel Bookings Will Surpass Offline
Bookings for the First Time in 2007
Sherman, Conn., USA, December 15, 2006 — According to a new report from PhoCusWright Inc., next year for the first time transactions on the Internet will account for over half (54%) of all U.S. travel bookings. The report, PhoCusWright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview, is now in its sixth edition and is used by members of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries to assess the domestic leisure/unmanaged business online travel market. It analyzes this market by segment, channel and major players, projecting trends through 2008.

After years of suppliers (e.g., airlines, hotels and car rental agencies) outperforming online travel agencies (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline), growth rates for both channels will converge by 2008. Suppliers have enjoyed an advantage over online travel agencies due to the relatively inexpensive task of acquiring online customers from their own offline channels. This advantage, however, is disappearing.

PhoCusWright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview, the company’s flagship domestic research report, is used by industry executives and other key decision makers in all segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries to make informed, strategic business decisions. Investment firms and industry analysts also use the report as the most authoritative guide to current and future travel industry trends.
Other insights from PhoCusWright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview include:

  • While the U.S. represented just one third of total online and offline travel bookings of the combined North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific markets in 2005, the U.S. share of online bookings was over 60 percent of all online bookings.
  • Growth of dynamic packaging—the ability of consumers to easily combine airline, hotel, rental car and other product purchases online—is projected to slow significantly from 51 percent growth in 2005 to 18 percent in 2008. This trend is partly attributable to the current tight supply of bulk airfares and merchant hotel rates available for packages, thanks to higher load factors and occupancy as suppliers enjoyed strong sales during the recent robust economy.

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  • Hotels will be the fastest growing segment online, surpassing air travel, which until 2006 had long been the fastest growing product segment.
  • The advanced level of the U.S. online travel market creates an atmosphere in which many innovations such as dynamic packaging, metasearch and user-generated content incubate in the U.S. before expanding to other global markets. Many of these innovations include the new online capabilities that PhoCusWright has termed Travel 2.0—the travel industry’s application of Web 2.0 practices empowering the online consumer.
  • The tipping point of the travel market, with the online channel becoming the norm for travel purchases, is going to further shape consumer behavior that utilizes Travel 2.0 tools and applications.
PhoCusWright's U.S. Online Travel Overview, Sixth Edition will be released the week of December 11 and is available, along with the company’s other research and analysis reports at www.store.phocuswright.com/reports.html.

About PhoCusWright Inc. PhoCusWright Inc. is the nation’s leading independent research firm covering the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. The company conducts and publishes primary research used in strategic planning and forecasting. The pioneer in predicting the rise of online travel-related commerce, PhoCusWright continues to provide all segments of the travel industry’s value chain with information for competitive decision-making. The company also produces a series of high-profile conferences for senior executives in the travel industry. More information can be found at www.phocuswright.com.

Contact:

PhoCusWright
info@phocuswright.com
+1 860 350-4084

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