Meta-search engines grabbing travel market’s throat – TravelMole true

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Meta-search engines grabbing travel market’s throat

Sunday, 12 May, 2005 0

The market share of visits to four of the major travel search engines increased by 304% in the past six months, according to Hitwise.

In the same short period, the market share of visits to the top five travel agencies (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Yahoo!Travel and CheapTickets) increased by 11.3%.

Hitwise says this “rapid rise poses a threat to travel agencies.”

Travel agencies such as Expedia are making way for the meta-search engines such as Kayak, Mobissimo and Yahoo!Farechase.

“If travel meta-search engines deliver on their promise to efficiently find the lowest prices, then it is possible they will quickly and successfully insert themselves into the travel-shopping chain,” said Bill Tancer, vice president of research for Hitwise.

Kayak.com showed the largest increase in market share.

“What some of the new travel meta-search engines lack in brand equity and reach, they make up for in search marketing and optimization within the landscape of the traditional search engines like Google,” said Mr Tancer.

“Their product is essentially robust and sought-after content, and that is the lifeblood of search-engine functionality,” he added.

Visitors to the top travel search engines were at least 34 times likely to be over 55 years of age, the survey found.

Mobissimo had the largest number of visitors over 55.

“Hitwise research analysts note that as Baby Boomers begin to retire and have more leisure time, this price-conscious group will become an increasingly powerful force on travel meta-search engines,” said Hitwise.

Hitwise is a leading online competitive intelligence service.

Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million internet users interact with over 500,000 Web sites across 160 industry categories.

Report by David Wilkening

 

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