Fewer consumers using travel reviews, says US report

The number of people visiting US travel reviews sites for reviews is declining according to the PhoCuswright Online Traffic and Conversion Report.

TripAdvisor is the clear leader with 12.3 million monthly unique visitors, a figure that has doubled in the past 18 months. It’s nearest rival is IgoUgo with 1.7m unique visitors every month.

However,  the study carried out in conjunction with Compete shows a drop in the number of people looking at reviews from 55% in October 2007 to 46% in October 2009.

It seems visitors are being attracted by other content as well as new initiatives such as TripAdvisor’s Flight Search tool.
Only a small number of people are carrying out travel search on TripAdvisor according to the figures – 9% of unique visitors in June 2009 made a hotel booking search as opposed to entering a hotel name.

However, these figures are expected to increase, with the flight search tool already drawing significant traffic – up from 5.4% of traffic in March to 8.6% in June.

The report also predicts the gap between US metasearch specialists is likely to close quickly.

Kayak leads the market with almost seven million unique visitors per month, with sister company Sidestep receiving about half that amount.

These are followed by fly.com, the Tripadvisor Flight Search tool and Mobissimo Travel.

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