Trust on big travel sites a key factor as economy tightens

Around half of visitors to the leading OTAs, Thomson and Thomas Cook have previously purchased a travel product on the sites, a consumer survey which also shows conversion rates has found.

The study by customer experience firm Global Review found that 66% of respondents had used Expedia to research their last holiday, with 52% buying from the site previously on other occasions.

Similarly strong figures were found for (56% and 43%), Thomas Cook (50% and 46%) and Thomson (44% and 50%).

The survey also discovered good performance in terms of the percentage of users that went on to buy from a particular site when they used it for research.

A third (34%) of users went on to buy from Expedia after using it to research their previous holiday.

Figures for other leading travel sites included (24%), Thomas Cook (23%), Thomson (22%), Ebookers (13%) and Opodo (6%).

The main thrust of the survey, commissioned to look at changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the economic slowdown and recent airline and operator failures, showed that one in four have not changed the way they book “as they only use established companies”.

In addition, a similar number are now checking travel insurance details before booking a holiday 38% are “more careful about the companies they book through”.

Director at Global Reviews, Bertie Stevenson, said: “When booking their holiday, customers are now just as concerned about the stability of the company as they are in the price.

“They plan to be more careful in the future buy are still happy to continue to research and book their holidays online.”

The survey was carried out with 1,000 internet users in October 2008.

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