Car rental sites more popular than blogs for holiday information

UK internet users are using online travel agencies more than any other type of website to source information about holidays, according to a study.


In December 2008, Continental Research conducted an online interview of a representative sample of 750 UK internet users, aged 20 to 74. Around 80% of this age group are online.


‘All-in-one’ sites such as lastminute.com and Expedia were visited by 37% of the sample during their decision-making process. Price comparison and independent review sites were the next most popular at 31 and 30%. Hotels sites were the most popular product-specific site at 29%.


Blogs have yet to establish themselves as a source for information, with only 7% taking a look – slightly less than car hire sites but more popular than foreign office/embassy sites.


The study found that young users are the most frequent visitors to price comparison and review sites, whereas older users who had migrated to the web opted for more traditional tour operator and tourist board sites.


The study also looked at where the sample was “seriously considering” spending their main summer 2009 break. Nearly three in ten said Great Britain, with Spain (20%) and the US (15%) leading the overseas destinations.


The role of the internet in driving travel demand is also noted, with 28% saying they travel more because of the web. Some 40% also said that now they were now booking their main holidays closer to departure.


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