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Travel & Web 3.0: Overview

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

Online Travel is one of the top segments that draws over 2% of the Internet traffic and approximately 24% of online advertising dollars, and in this series, we will evaluate the category against the Web 3.0 framework.

According to a report published by Hitwise, Online Travel sites accounted for an average of 2.02% of all Internet traffic and local travel sites made up 1.93% of this 2.02% in March 2007. On an average a visitor spends over 8 minutes 30 seconds on a travel site.

According to Alexa, Expedia is the leading travel site in the world with a Traffic Rank of 409 followed by TripAdvisor with a traffic rank of 504. Other top travel sites that deserve a mention are Yahoo! Travel, Travelocity, Orbitz and Kayak. All these sites have very high quality content (maps, booking services, reviews, etc) with contextual information. Some of these sites also have vertical search and comparison facilities. Expedia earned revenues of $2.2 billion in 2006 and advertising rates vary between $20 – $60 CPM.

According to the latest data published by eMarketer, online travel sales zoomed to over $78.8 billion in 2006 in the US and it is expected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 16.6% to $145.8 billion in 2010. These are strong growth numbers and the phenomenon is not restricted to the US alone.

Europe experienced the maximum growth of 49% in the online travel industry in 2005 and is expected to continue growing at a robust pace till 2009. Though Online Travel is at various stages of development in the different markets they all are growing rapidly and countries like India and China are seeing a lot of activity in this space and are expected to see the maximum growth in the coming years, although starting from a low basis.

The Online Travel industry is booming and this is supported by the new product and services offered by the travel sites. Researching flights, hotels, cheap tickets and packaged deals, Travel-related RSS Feeds, podcasts, blogs and communities, group travel sites, and online booking of flights and hotel tickets are the key functionality offered by the travel sites.

A typical travel site has the following categories:

* Flights
* Hotels
* Car Rentals
* Vacation Packages
* Cruises
* Deals and Destinations
* Maps
* Corporate Travel

Some of these travel sites have incorporated very good Consumer Generated Media (CGM) features like discussion boards, forums, RSS Feeds, blogs, etc. Sheraton’s, TheLobby.com uses the CGM feature by allowing consumers to share information and encourages participation from the Starwood users. Remarkable vision from a large company in staying on the cutting edge of innovation.

Keeping in pace with the blogging community, a number of travel blogs have also emerged. According to Forrester Research, peer reviews and blogs have a huge impact on the travel plans of Internet users and this is evident from the fact that 33% of leisure travelers changed their hotels based on what they read on the blogs or other travel related community sites.

TripAdvisor has the largest travel community in the world, with more than 5 million posts. According to Alexa, VirtualTourist is one of the leading travel blogs with over 800,000 registered members spanning more than 220 countries and territories, 30 million page views and 5 million unique visitors per month and covering 2 million travel destinations, which is 4 times that of travel guides like Frommers.com and Fodors.com, and have twice the reach of Concierge.com.

Today the online travel industry is witnessing the emergence of some niche sites like Farecast and FareCompare, which enable users to compare fares, flights and decide on the best time to book flight tickets. Gusto.com, a travel related social networking site allows users to share their travel itineraries and trip information. Kayak and SideStep, which provide vertical search engine services, are expected to boost traffic to travel related sites.

TravelerVideos.com allows user to upload and share their travel related photos and videos and write their own blogs. These are valuable market driven services that are changing the rules of the game by increasingly differentiating themselves in a highly competitive and commoditized market.

Online Travel in India

According to HVS, the online travel industry in India is expected to touch $2 billion by 2010, a huge 271% increase over 2005. This has resulted in a considerable interest in the country’s online travel industry and sites like MakeMyTrip, Yatra, TravelGuru are doing brisk business. Considering the growth opportunity in India, Travelocity has started its India operations and Amadeus has tied-up with IndiaTimes, MakeMyTrip, Sify, TravelGuru and Yatra to provide technology solutions, giving these online travel agents access to – and the ability to book – the full range of domestic and international airline tickets in Amadeus’ distribution system.

In the upcoming days, we will deep dive further into the Online Travel category.

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[...] Travel & Web 3.0: OverviewOnline Travel is one of the top segments that draws over 2% of the Internet traffic and approximately 24% of online advertising dollars, and in this series, we will evaluate the category against the Web 3.0 framework. … [...]

Cheap Flight Guide » Blog Archive » Cheap Flight France - Guitar/Bass Flight Case Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 5:19 AM PT

[...] have just published an overview of the Online Travel segment. You may want to read that, before reading this [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 & Yahoo! Travel Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 9:57 AM PT

Hello,

I think it is interesting to review also travel metasearch engine that is becoming popular in Europe such Trabber – http://www.trabber.com or Dohop – http://www.dohop.com

Regards.

dan Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 3:57 AM PT

[...] have been discussing about the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel from a Web 3.0 perspective earlier. Here we take a look at [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 & TripAdvisor Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 1:13 PM PT

I have found that the best travel reccomendations come from friends. people are helping me plan my italy trip here.

Its a new site
http://www.travelschemer.com

geoff Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 7:45 PM PT

Really found the piece both well balanced and well researched. Given the growing play of social networking in travel decision making, I frequently use and refer a site that’s India focused and though young is robust on delivering honest and genuine information. Realy feel that this SN phenomnon will be the weapon of differentiation for currently transactional travel spaces.

Partha Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 4:20 AM PT

Travelling is a very competitive sector. I am new to this and would like to ask you – do you think it makes sense to start an affiliate website from scratch in this sector? I have some niche idea, but not sure it will work.

Alex Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 6:15 AM PT

[...] have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel and TripAdvisor from a Web 3.0 perspective earlier. Here we will take [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 & Travelocity Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 11:32 AM PT

Alex: It depends entirely on what is the value proposition that would bring people to your site.

Sramana Mitra Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 1:48 PM PT

[...] have been discussing about the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor and Travelocity from a Web 3.0 perspective earlier. Here [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 and Orbitz Monday, April 30, 2007 at 6:48 AM PT

[...] have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity and Orbitz from a Web 3.0 perspective [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 and Expedia Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 7:16 AM PT

[...] have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity and Orbitz from a Web 3.0 perspective [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 and Expedia Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 7:16 AM PT

[...] 1st, 2007 Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Travel & Web 3.0: Overview Posted by Tim Filed in Analytics, Distribution, Online Travel, Metrics, International, [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Travel & Web 3.0: Overview « Travel Stuff Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 11:21 AM PT

[...] have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia from a Web 3.0 [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 and Priceline Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 11:28 AM PT

[...] have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline from a Web [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 and Lonely Planet Friday, May 4, 2007 at 10:16 AM PT

[...] Read/WriteWeb or  this overview on the Software Abstractions blog. [For context, Sramana Mitra's overview of online travel services provides a sense how Vertical Search fits into the overall [...]

Bloglish - Blogs' Digest---Let your weblog speaks to all » Top 17 Search Innovations Outside Of Google Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 2:30 AM PT

[...] have been reviewing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline and Lonely [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Online Travel: Synthesis Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 8:09 AM PT

[...] 通过聚焦一个单一的垂直方向,搜索引擎能提供更好的用户体验,它对某一特定领域更加全面、简明。针对不同的领域有令人难以置信的大量的垂直搜索引擎,更多资料请查看Alex Iskold在读写网(Read/WriteWeb)上的文章或在Software Abstractions博客上的概述。 [要更全面地了解这方面的信息,Sramana Mitra的在线旅游服务概述介绍了垂直搜索与通用搜索的关系。] [...]

小叮当 » Blog Archive » Google 以外的17个搜索引擎创新 Friday, May 18, 2007 at 7:57 AM PT

[...] 通过聚焦一个单一的垂直方向,搜索引擎能提供更好的用户体验,它对某一特定领域更加全面、简明。针对不同的领域有令人难以置信的大量的垂直搜索引擎,更多资料请查看Alex Iskold在读写网(Read/WriteWeb)上的文章或在Software Abstractions博客上的概述。 [要更全面地了解这方面的信息,Sramana Mitra的在线旅游服务概述介绍了垂直搜索与通用搜索的关系。] [...]

CIO log (beta) » Blog Archive » Google 以外的17个搜索引擎创新 Friday, May 18, 2007 at 9:19 AM PT

[...] 通过聚焦一个单一的垂直方向,搜索引擎能提供更好的用户体验,它对某一特定领域更加全面、简明。针对不同的领域有令人难以置信的大量的垂直搜索引擎,更多资料请查看Alex Iskold在读写网(Read/WriteWeb)上的文章或在Software Abstractions博客上的概述。 [要更全面地了解这方面的信息,Sramana Mitra的在线旅游服务概述介绍了垂直搜索与通用搜索的关系。] [...]

little home » Google 以外的17个搜索引擎创新 Sunday, May 20, 2007 at 10:09 PM PT

[...] have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline and [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 & Travel Search Engines Friday, June 1, 2007 at 6:35 AM PT

Hi Sramana,

Wonderful blog :-)

We just launched a new travel search engine for the indian market, to ease consumer pain when it comes to travel planning and search.

It’s named iXiGO – http://www.iXiGO.com

Regards,
Aloke

Airline Booking India Friday, June 8, 2007 at 4:43 PM PT

[...] of holiday customers and humming of activity at Priceline is reflective of a general boom in online travel, that somewhat puts in shade its reported Q1 loss last month of $0.44 a share compared to a $0.02 [...]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Pricing Priceline Monday, July 2, 2007 at 7:18 AM PT

[...] Internet company needs to have a strong vertical play in the large categories : Jobs, Real Estate, Travel, Finance, Photo, etc. Thus companies like News Corp. and IAC who don’t have a position in [...]

Monster’s Destiny - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Thursday, July 5, 2007 at 1:49 PM PT

[...] except some classifieds on the various newspaper sites and some travel related articles, whereas online travel draws over 2% of the Internet traffic and approximately 24% of online advertising doll…. A stand-alone Real Estate site is also [...]

Web 3.0 & News Corp (Part 2) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 5:58 AM PT

[...] (Jobs, Business & Finance, Health, Shopping, Real Estate, Autos, Technology / Gadgets, Travel, Entertainment, and Lifestyle) through its sites NYTimes.com, Boston.com, About.com, etc. We will [...]

Web 3.0 & NYT (Part 2) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 9:01 AM PT

[...] boom times for the online travel industry. Sales in the U.S. topped $78 billion in 2006 and are projected crest $145 billion by 2010. But all that money spent online means less is [...]

14Trips Weblog » Blog Archive » test travel toolbox Monday, October 29, 2007 at 1:16 PM PT

Sramana,
Where did you find the stat that travel is 2% of Internet traffic and 24% of online advertising? Is that a worldwide number?
Paul

Paul Monday, December 24, 2007 at 11:05 PM PT

The 2% is from a Hitwise report.

The 24% data is from the following link (3rd paragraph):

http://www.allaboutmarketresearch.com/ind/ind001.htm

Sramana Mitra Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 8:54 PM PT

Super Great blog :-).

SilkRoad Friday, January 11, 2008 at 5:12 AM PT

I think we applay the new concept of Travel 3.0 in our site sence 2005 , you can take a look at our site http://www.memphistours.com

Banna Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 1:40 AM PT

The post was a useful read, especially since it hinted at the role of travel bloggers. Being a travel blogger myself, I couldn’t help but notice that the post is from the perspective of travel corporate websites and how are they doing business. An analogous analysis from you on travel bloggers – history, trends, roles and monetization strategies and results will definitely be appreciated by the community.

Cheers!

Kalyan Banerjee Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 4:39 AM PT

Good Post thanks for sharing.
One word to say that ” Your blog is full of informative stuff ”
Keep posting more like these.
Good Luck

Travel fromChennai-Coimbatore.blogspot.com

Bala Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 7:06 AM PT
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