Experian Hitwise study reveals turn of year travel winners

Multi-channel travel agencies have been the big winners in the turn of year peak booking period, according to new research.

Five of the fastest movers in the latest Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List were travel brands.

The list covered the December to February period, a historically busy period for holiday bookings.

Thomson claimed the highest ranking spot for a travel brand on the list in 12th place, beating all airlines and online only travel companies. Sister brand First Choice was the fastest mover across all sectors.

The period studied included January 8, previously reported as the biggest ever web search and booking day in Thomson and First Choice’s website history.

James Murray of Experian Hitwise commented: “Travel has done well this quarter despite some really challenging market conditions.

“Much like last year, it was the multi-channel travel agencies that were the fastest-growing travel sites.

“By this measure First Choice’s decision last year to switch to purely all-inclusive holidays seems to have paid off, as the travel agency was ranked four places higher this year than in February 2011.”

Thomson and First Choice distribution and online director Nick Longman said: “It is great to see how the high street and web sites can work together effectively to produce stronger sales.

“It seems that British consumers are keener then ever to get away this year, but with even more emphasis on value and quality. Our top searched and viewed hotels so far this year have been our flagship 5* Sensatori resorts.”

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