Consumers In UK Turn To Internet For Travel Plans

11 May 2004

Budget airline Easyjet may be in financial trouble. But it's still the main online destination ahead of rivals RyanAir and Cheap flights.

The results from a Hitwise survey, reveal more consumers are turning to the web to organise their travel. Good news for the online companies, bad news for the high street-based operators.

January 2004, represented a new high when one in 25 internet visits was to a travel website. Visits fell slightly between February and March but the sector still represented 3.7% of all online visits in April.

Hitwise says that year-on-year the sector is showing consistent growth. Concern over terrorism doesn't seem to be affecting the appetite for travel.

This optimism is reflected by some brand's investment in marketing and advertising. US firm recently launched a £12 million ($21m; €18m) brand advertising campaign.

"With search engines driving more than a third of visits to the travel sector, understanding the brands people are searching for is a great way to assess the relative strength of brands online," says Hitwise general manager Simon Chamberlain.

"EasyJet continues to be front of mind for UK consumers, with Ryanair and British Airways just behind, showing the clear dominance of low-cost carriers on the web."

Most searched for travel terms:
1. EasyJet 2.36%
2. RyanAir 1.82%
3. Cheap flights 1.67%
4. British Airways 1.24%
5. Flights 0.98%
6. Train times 0.84%
7. Holidays 0.84%
8. Expedia 0.73%
9. Cheap holidays 0.68%

Data sourced from: Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff