The number of Europeans visiting travel-related websites surged by nearly four million in the six months from November to April, according to research firm Jupiter MMXI.
In particular, online destinations offering information and tickets for planes and trains are proving popular across the continent – for example, the UK’s top-ten internet travel services include Easyjet.com, Britishairways.com, Thetrainline.com and Railtrack.com. Moreover, national rail operators have the most-visited travel websites in Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.
Another popular site is high-profile e-tailer Lastminute.com, which appears among the top-ten online travel services in France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK.
In the continent’s three biggest markets, Germany, France and the UK, the number of unique visitors to such websites jumped by almost one million. All three, says Jupiter, experience marked seasonal trends in usage of travel pages – they all register peaks in July, with the UK and Germany both experiencing extra highs in January and February, and France seeing an extra surge in March. Such data suggest that consumers use travel websites both to book last-minute deals and to research their holidays in advance.
Commented travel analyst Nick Jones: “With providers of all modes of transport now active online, it is no surprise that European consumers are using the internet for information about timetables and destinations.”
However, he also warned that “European online travel operators must now persuade people to make bigger, more important travel purchases online…[and] package operators must escape the brochure mentality that has left consumers sifting through poor quality information on their websites.”
News source: Daily Research News Online (UK)