SOURCE: Phocuswright Inc.

November 08, 2007 13:42 ET

U.S. Online Leisure Travel Market Growth Outstrips Overall Travel Market Expansion

Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Market to Surpass US$94 Billion in 2007

SHERMAN, CT--(Marketwire - November 8, 2007) - The U.S. online leisure/unmanaged business travel market continues to grow at a pace that far exceeds the overall travel market's rate of growth, according to the new report, PhoCusWright's U.S. Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition.

PhoCusWright finds that the online leisure/unmanaged business travel market will surpass US$94 billion in 2007, to comprise more than one-third of the total travel market. The total travel market encompasses offline leisure/unmanaged business and on- and offline corporate travel.

"It's interesting to note that while online travel's growth continues to exceed that of the market as a whole, that growth has slowed compared to recent years," notes Lorraine Sileo, vice president, research at PhoCusWright. "This is especially true for online travel agencies, which have seen their packaging sales slow considerably."

The report is widely considered the most comprehensive look at travel distribution and marketing trends in the country. Other findings about the trends and competitive efforts that are driving change in the industry:

--  While suppliers are gaining share in most segments (air, car, hotel),
    online travel agencies are competing via packaging and add-ons, corporate
    tools, distressed inventory, international expansion in Europe and Asia,
    independent hotel properties, U.S. chains, and cross-product and -provider
    customer service initiatives.
--  Search and metasearch continue to work in favor of suppliers as they
    drive traffic to their Web sites to book after their comparative shopping
    experience.
--  All travel companies must embrace the consumer desire to shift among
    online and offline channels. As each channel varies in distribution costs,
    suppliers must execute unique strategies for each channel based on their
    yield/value.
    

The report also analyzes distribution shifts in each travel supplier segment (airline, hotel, car rental, vacation packages, rail and cruise), online travel agency developments and the outlook for this channel, evolving technologies and consumer behaviors, and more. It includes historical and projected segment gross bookings and growth trends, as well as channel sales analysis.

PhoCusWright's U.S. Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition is available at www.phocuswright.com/reports/oto-7, sales@phocuswright.com or +1 860 350-4084 x501.

About PhoCusWright Inc.

PhoCusWright (Connecticut and New York, USA; Duesseldorf; Mumbai) is the travel industry research authority on the evolving dynamics that influence how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, PhoCusWright enables companies to make smart, profitable decisions.

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