Online Travel Industry
Internet travel bookings have been very prosperous these past couple of years. During the first three months of 2005, Internet travel bookings grew about 20 percent in the United States from the year earlier. Companies like Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz are putting more emphasis on selling to corporations and expanding in foreign markets. Travel has become one of the Web’s most developed categories. According to comScore, “online leisure travel bookings reached about $51 billion last year, or 44 percent of all online sales. Roughly 30 percent of all travel bookings occur online, which is a far greater share than retailing stores.” Between 2001 and 2003, leisure travel bookings more than tripled, to $43 billion.
After the September 2001 attacks, the travel supplier industry had to take action in order to stay profitable. The industries tried desperately to reach consumers by offering discounted airfares and hotel prices, but the industry did not have enough money to support the advertising and marketing of these bargains and deals that they offered after the September attacks. The industry then turned to companies like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline in order to advertise their bargains. These companies became great allies to the suppliers by selling hotel and airline bookings at hefty prices.
In order to save even more money, the travel industry began to reduce the number of cut-rate rooms and airline seats they offered through travel agencies, while increasing efforts to attract customers directly to their Web sites, where they could sell their products commission-free.
The travel industry has benefited greatly as a result of internet and information systems technology. It has basically become a standard when planning vacations and trips. It has made the search process far easier than if one were to use the telephone. E-commerce in the travel industry has become a key asset in creating more convenience to it’s customers.