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Expedia Snatches Lead in UK Online Travel Market

News, 30 January 2004


The latest UK research from Nielsen//NetRatings reveals that online travel agency Expedia is now more popular than former top-ranked rival Lastminute.com. Expedia surged into the lead in terms of audience numbers in July 2003, a peak time for booking holidays and travel breaks.

The research also highlights the performance of other key players in Britain's online travel market. AOL Travel Channel is now the second most popular online travel destination in the UK, with over 1.2 million people visiting the site each month.

Airlines rank closely together in this competitive market, with budget carrier EasyJet attracting over one million people each month and Ryanair and British Airways both making it into the top twelve. New leader Expedia attracts a larger audience, has more pages viewed per person per month and more time spent.

Says N/NR's European market analyst Tom Ewing: "The online travel market is always highly competitive, partly due to its seasonal peaks. This summer Expedia won the battle for the most surfers in the UK, and we saw this repeated in other markets, such as Germany.

"With several recent high-profile advertising campaigns, though, Expedia's competitors will be fighting hard to overtake it during the next peak season for online sales in January and February."

   Rank

Top 12 UK travel sites (airlines, travel agencies)

Brand/ Channel

Unique Audience (000)

Active Reach%

1

Expedia

Brand

1,310

5.13

2

AOL Travel Channel

Channel

1,262

4.95

3

Lastminute.com

Brand

1,248

4.89

4

EasyJet

Brand

1,190

4.66

5

Virgin Travel

Brand

1,101

4.31

6

National Rail

Brand

811

3.18

7

AA Travel and Leisure

Channel

736

2.88

8

Ryanair.com

Brand

725

2.84

9

British Airways

Brand

671

2.63

10

TUI

Brand

524

2.05

11

MyTravel

Brand

491

1.92

12

Opodo

Brand

486

1.91


Source: Nielsen//NetRatings UK at home +at work panels, June-December 2003

Data sourced from: Nielsen//NetRatings UK; additional content by WARC staff