Indications that the US travel industry is recovering from the traumas of September 11 appeared in January via online traffic data unveiled Tuesday by Nielsen/NetRatings.

Following the massive slump that resulted from the terrorist attacks, Americans are returning to the air. Traffic in January at leading US online travel agency Expedia leaped by almost 14% since September, with nearly 10.2 million visitors to its site.

Of the other ‘big three’ online travel shops, Travelocity attracted more than 9.4 million visitors, 43% up on September; while Orbitz rose by 72% to nearly seven million.

The ticket reservation sites at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines respectively attracted 5.2 million visitors (up 17% on September) and 4.5m (+20%).

Comments NetRatings director and chief analyst Lisa Strand: “The events of September 11 greatly affected the online travel category, as traffic to travel sites dropped initially. Promotions and special sales helped the recovery, which was especially noteworthy in January after the holidays.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff