More Travelers Surfing The Web To Plan Trips - Study              
                         (Newsbytes; 01/11/99)                         

 WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1999 JAN 11 (Newsbytes) -- By Bob Woods, Newsbytes. 
More than 33.8 million people used the World Wide Web in 1998 to aid in the 
planning of their business and/or personal travel, an year-to-year increase of 
189 percent, according to a new study by the Travel Industry Association of 
America (TIA). Forty-eight percent of all online travelers and 51 percent of 
all online frequent travelers consulted the Internet to get information on 
destinations or to check prices and schedules, the group also said.

  The number of travelers who used the Internet for both travel-related surfing 
and other purposes rose 141 percent from 29 million in 1996 to 70 million in 

  In addition, the number of people who went one step further and booked 
reservations via the Internet increased 24 percent to 6.7 million in 1998 from 
5.4 million in 1997, TIA said in its "Technology and Travel 1998" study. In 
1997, though, 5.4 million or 11 percent of all Internet users in that year used 
the Web to book reservations.

  In explaining the increasing number of people using the Net to make 
reservations rose versus the dropping share of all Internet users booking 
online, TIA officials said, "overall Internet use is growing at a faster rate 
than the growth rate of those making travel reservations via the Internet.

  The share of all American adults who made reservations via the Net rose from 
3 percent in 1997 to 4 percent in 1998, TIA also said.

  For purposes of the report, travel reservations include the actual 
booking/paying for an airline ticket, hotel room, rental car, package tour and 
so on, TIA said.

  Other survey results showed 92 percent of Internet users took a trip of 100 
miles or more away from home in the past year, while 45 percent of all Internet 
users are frequent travelers who took five or more trips in the past year.

  Of the Americans using the Net to either research travel plans or book 
reservations, 92 percent were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with 
their most recent experience, TIA said.

  Eighty-two percent of those surveyed said they had heard of at least one of 
ten new travel technologies covered in the survey. Two out of five travelers, 
or 44 percent, had actually tried at least one. And 71 percent said they would 
either definitely or maybe consider trying one or more of these ten new 
technologies in the future.

  Of the ten new technologies covered in the study, satellite navigation 
systems ranked the highest in awareness and interest in using among the ten new 
technologies presented to travelers. Electronic airline tickets ranked the 
highest for actual use among travelers. Computer kiosks at 
airports/hotels/welcome centers ranked second in awareness, use and future 

  The other seven technologies are electronic highway tolls; direction kiosks 
at rental car offices; self-service ticketing machines; smart travel cards for 
airlines, hotels and rental cars; electronic subway passes; trade show smart 
cards; and electronic passports.

  "Technology and Travel 1998" is based on a telephone survey of 1,200 US 
adults, and was conducted in September 1998.

  TIA is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of 
the $502 billion travel industry.

  The association's Web site is at . The report can be 
ordered from the Web site.