Phoenix Marketing International, a consultative research company, has revealed new details from its recent Online Travel Audit, an industry study of the most prominent online travel brands. Some of the results may provide insight for agents into how business travelers think about booking online travel.
The audit found that among business travelers, Kayak is the site most likely to be recommended with over 76 percent of business travelers willing to suggest the brand to others, followed by TripAdvisor (74 percent) and Priceline (72 percent).
Among leisure travelers, the site with the highest recommendation is TripAdvisor at 81 percent, followed by Kayak (74 percent) and TravelZoo (72 percent). The audit tested 30 of the most popular sites in the online travel space including AOLTravel, Booking.com, bookit.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, TravelZoo, Trivago, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, Smarter Travel and others.
Among online travel agency users, 76 percent of leisure and business travelers consider travel websites as their go to for booking hotels, compared to only 24 percent who use specific hotel websites. Some of the top hotel booking sites include Hotels.com (18 percent), Expedia (15 percent) and Priceline (10 percent).
Business travelers are more likely than their leisure traveler counterparts, to use travel websites for airline planning and booking. However, the top airline planning sites for both groups are Expedia (19 percent/18 percent), Kayak (11 percent/10 percent), Travelocity (10 percent/9 percent), Priceline (9 percent/8 percent), and Orbitz (6 percent/6 percent).
The three most important characteristics to consider for both business and leisure travelers when choosing a travel site are ease of use, lower prices than booking directly with individual travel providers, and price guarantee.
The Online Travel Audit is about more than just examining the basic competitors, according to John Antonello, managing director of Phoenix Travel and Leisure: "We look at the travel industry in its entirety, along with consumer sentiments around brands and advertising. This gives us more of a holistic approach to getting all-inclusive data and the ability to deliver actionable insights for brand and marketing professionals in the online travel industry.