Some 68 million Americans, or nearly one in four, visited travel web sites in November, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, a company that measures Internet audiences. That’s an increase of 13% over last November’s 60,000 unique visitors, the company says.
Spending on those sites increased year-over-year in November, too, reaching $919 million this year, up 11% from $828 million the previous November, Nielsen/NetRatings says.
During the same month, MapQuest ranked No. 1 in online travel sites with 31 million unique visitors, followed by Expedia with 14 million; Travelocity, 11 million; Orbitz.com, a little less than 11 million; and Southwest Airlines, 7 million, the Nielsen/NetRatings report says.
Grouped by income, the largest segment of web users visiting online travel sites, 28%, reported annual household income of $50,000 to $74,999, the report says. Consumers with income of $25,000 to $49,999 accounted for 20%, while those with income of $75,000 to $99,999 were 19% of the visitors.
People with income of $75,000 or more tend to favor brand-specific travel web sites, while those earning less than $75,000 often visit multi-category sites, such as Expedia and Travelocity, where they can make price comparisons, report says.
“Clearly, those with higher household incomes extend their loyalty online to their frequent travel programs,” says Heather Dougherty, Nielsen/NetRatings senior retail analyst.