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Online Travel Planning Grows in Popularity

Online Travel Booking Numbers On the Rise

The Travel Industry Association of America estimates that around 64 million Americans research their travel options online.

This marks a dramatic rise from 1997 when just 12 million Americans planned and researched travel options via the Net. Around 42 percent of online travel planners say they now do all or most of their trip planning online, up from 29 percent last year. In 2002, over 39 million people actually booked travel using the Internet, up 25 percent on 2001.

The research also indicates that 70 percent of travel planners say they now carry out at least half of their travel booking online, compared with 56 percent last year.

Airlines tickets continue to be the most frequently purchased travel item with 77 percent of all online travel bookers having bought a airplane ticket over the internet.

Hotel or lodging accommodations have been set up by around 57 percent of online travel bookers, while rental cars have been bought by 37 percent of online buyers.

About a quarter of travelers buy tickets for cultural events online, while more than 25 percent buy travel packages. The study also reveals that over 30 percent of online travel bookers spent $2,500 or more in the past year on internet travel purchases.

(Source: TIAA)