For destination marketing organizations like the DCVB, the more interesting numbers are those showing use of the internet for planning of both business and leisure travel.
Here are some points distilled from the survey worth considering:
- There is an online market of 122 million potential business and leisure travelers in the US in 2010.
- 93 million US adults used the internet to plan travel in the last 12 months – up from 90 million in 2007.
- The strongest benefits the internet poses to travel planners are the ability to evaluate, be involved in, and form expectations of a destination. In other words, it behooves destinations and travel industry businesses to make their online presence be their best foot forward in marketing.
- Those travelling for business and pleasure use the internet more than those who travel for pleasure only.
- A third of those who travel for pleasure only, and half who travel for business and pleasure, use the internet to look for potential destinations. The internet is the place to sell to these audiences.
- Forty percent of online travel planners print literature about destinations from websites, with an equal percentage using the internet to request printed materials.
- 75 million people book travel online. Air travel, hotels, and car rental were the dominant products booked online, and many also purchased tickets for entertainment as well.
- Both those booking and those not booking used the internet equally for research prior to booking. That planning grew substantially from 2007-2009.
Adoption of the internet hasn’t been a passing fad – most everyone reading this is doing so courtesy of the internet, as that is how it is delivered. From humble beginnings in 1995, DCVB’s site sees more than 600,000 visitor sessions per year, making the site an incredibly valuable marketing tool, and is well positioned to continue to utilize these online travel trends in years to come.