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Following a barrage of turn of year travel brand TV advertising, the people have spoken, well figuratively at least by way of clicks.
Hitwise rankings seen by Travolution chart how the UK’s top 20 travel websites in the week of January 23 fared through the crucial post-Christmas sales period.
What the Hitwise visitor data reveals is a relatively stable top seven, with brands swapping one or two positions and those that had major advertising campaigns generally seeing improvement.
The top two sites on January 23, Thomson and Thomas Cook, both improved their positions at the expense of Skyscanner, which was absent from our screens this year and lost its number one incumbency.
Expedia was the model of consistency throughout retaining its fourth spot each week, whereas lastminute.com lost out to rival OTA TV advertisers On The Beach and Travel Republic.
Rapid risers included First Choice, which debuted a highly acclaimed new TV advert and Jet2Holidays, which was also prominent on television during January.
Loveholidays.com, a non-TV advertiser, broke into the top 20 just after Christmas and improved on its position in the following weeks.
Travelsupermarket also saw improvement, although its ‘Travel Like A German’ campaign did not quite manage to help it make the top 10 by January 23.
Lowcost Holidays broke into the top 10 before Christmas but faded afterwards and Cheapflights, which debuted a high-production-value TV ad, dipped after New Year before a slight recovery.
Travelzoo and Icelolly both saw improvement after Boxing Day that was maintained, the latter on the back of a new regional TV advertising campaign which saw a 27% increase in market share.
Two of the most significant fallers were sister sites eDreams and Opodo, both of which crashed out of the top 10.
Neither ran television advertising in the UK over the turn of year. Could their fall have been anything to do with budget carrier Ryanair’s very public attack before Christmas.
Among the household names in the top 20 was German travel agent HolidayPirates, which appropriately rode the waves of popularity after Christmas peaking at 14 but ‘troughing’ at 18.
Unsurprisingly, the Hitwise data shows the most significant movement of positions happened just after New Year when Jet2Holidays was the fastest riser leaping six places to 10 on January 2.
That week also saw Icelolly gain five places and Virgin Holidays four, while Google Flights and Opodo dropped four places, Travelzoo four and Cheapflights three.
Outside of the top 20, one of the highest profile turn or year TV advertisers, KAYAK, saw a positive impact of their investment in brand advertising in the UK.
The Priceline-owned metasearch site rose from 22nd in December to 21st, a marked improvement on the 24th position it occupied in November and 25th in October.