TIA: Online Bookings Set New Record

At TravelCom 2006, the Travel Industry Association of America and D.K. Shifflet & Associates Ltd. unveiled new statistics reporting that last year, for the first time, more trips were booked online than by any other means. In 2005, according to the study, 19 percent of all U.S. resident travelers traveled by plane, train, bus or ship. Thirty-five percent of these travelers made their transportation reservations online, an increase of 25 percent from the year before. The next most common method was calling suppliers' 800 numbers, but this finding was down 16 percent from 2004. Travel agents assisted 4 percent of all travelers who made transportation reservations in 2005, similar to the survey's findings for 2004 (5%). On the hotel front, 24 percent of travelers who booked accommodations did so online in 2005, up 9 percent from the year before. Nearly as many travelers booking hotels did so direct, using 800 numbers, but this was down 5 percent from 2004. Four percent of travelers used a travel agent to book accommodations in 2005, similar to 2004 (5%). The full report will be available this fall. For the TravelScope/Directions survey, TIA and DKS&A took mail and Internet samples of more than 150,000+ trips reported by a representative sample of traveling U.S. households annually. Trips are defined as a journey of 50 miles or more, one-way, away from home or a journey that involved an overnight stay.

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