PhoCusWright has unmasked 6 online travel myths at its first-ever Analyst Forum, held September 10 in New York City.
Here they are:
Myth #1: The number of online travel buyers in the U.S. is declining.
In fact, that number is on the rise, as documented in the recently published The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Tenth Edition. In 2007, approximately 70% of online travelers (that is, adults who have taken a commercial air trip and stayed at a hotel for leisure in the past year, and used the Internet in the past 30 days) bought travel online, compared to 63% in 2006.
Myth #2: More and more online travel shoppers use supplier sites than online travel agencies. While this belief is widespread in the travel industry, it is simply untrue, according to PhoCusWright, the travel industry research firm. In terms of popularity, online travel agencies are making a comeback (source: The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey Tenth Edition or “CTTS10“).
Myth #3: Travel agencies are experiencing a resurgence as travelers return to traditional purchasing channels. Not so. In reality, even many formerly exclusive offline buyers are migrating online for travel shopping and buying, according to CTTS10.
Myth #4: The next generation of travelers prefers to do everything online. The truth is, less than half of what 18-28 year olds spend on travel is spent online, according to The NEXTgen Traveler™ report, jointly published by PhoCusWright and Ypartnership.
Myth #5: Social networks and travel reviews have the greatest influence on travel decision-making. The NEXTgen Traveler™ report reveals that while social media is widespread, destination Web sites and online travel agencies are favored by nearly half of next generation travelers during the travel shopping process.
Myth #6: Online travel markets need high credit card and Internet penetration to succeed. The structure and ambitions of the travel marketplace are even more important drivers than infrastructure. Case in point is India, one of the most dynamic online travel marketplaces today, where roughly 98% of the population does not use credit cards or have access to the Internet.