News for the Hospitality Executive
Hotwire.com Tops Independent Travel Web Sites in Customer Satisfaction,
Orbitz.com Last According to J.D. Power Report
|WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Nov. 27, 2007 - Amid increasing
costs and decreasing levels of customer satisfaction across various aspects
of the travel industry, customer satisfaction with independent travel Web
sites also experiences a decline, according to the J.D. Power and Associates
2007 Independent Travel Web Site Satisfaction (ITWS) Study(SM) released
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Now in its third year, the study measures the satisfaction of travelers who book airline, hotel or rental car reservations through one of eight major independent travel Web sites. Six factors are examined to measure customer satisfaction (in order of importance): competitiveness of price; ease of booking; usefulness of the information on the Web site; availability of booking options/travel packages; appearance / design of Web site; and ease of navigation.
The study finds that overall customer satisfaction with independent travel Web sites has decreased 8 points in the past year, from 810 on a 1,000-point scale in 2006 to 802 in 2007.
"Various pressures across the travel industry -- including increasing fuel and airfare prices, and more frequent air travel delays -- have led to notably lower satisfaction levels in 2007, and independent travel Web sites appear to have been negatively impacted by a snowball effect," said Sam Thanawalla, director of travel and entertainment at J.D. Power and Associates. "In addition, independent travel Web sites face challenges related to increased competition from airline- and hotel-branded Web sites, as well as changing expectations of increasingly Internet-savvy consumers."
For a second consecutive year, Hotwire.com ranks highest among independent travel Web sites in satisfying customers who book their reservations online, performing particularly well in competitiveness of pricing and ease of navigation. Travelocity.com and Expedia.com, respectively, follow in the rankings. Travelocity.com performs particularly well in four of the six factors: ease of booking; usefulness of the information on the Web site; availability of booking options/travel packages; and appearance/design of the Web site.
"Hotwire.com sets itself apart from the competition with a particularly strong performance in competitiveness of price," said Thanawalla. "Consumers are finding themselves with shrinking discretionary funds for travel while at the same time are facing rapidly climbing airline ticket prices and rental car and hotel room rates. Price-conscious travelers will search diligently to find the lowest possible prices, which is an area where Hotwire.com excels."
Study results also include the following key findings:
The 2007 Independent Travel Web Site Study is based on responses from 5,414 consumers who booked their travel reservation through an independent Web site. Consumers were surveyed between October 2006 and September 2007.
About J.D. Power and Associates
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
|Also See:||For Lowest Price - Travelers Advised to Check the Big Three Online Travel Web Sites First, Travelocity.com, Expedia.com and Orbitz.com - Then Surf the Web / March 2005|