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Online Travel Audit Reveals How Business and Leisure Travelers Are Using Online Travel Ecommerce Sites

April 2, 2014

Kayak takes the lead for business travelers; TripAdvisor is the go-to site for leisure travelers 

Rhinebeck, NY – Phoenix Marketing International, one of the top consultative research companies in the U.S., today reveals new details from the company’s recently launched Online Travel Audit, a comprehensive industry study of the most prominent online travel brands. The audit found that among business travelers, Kayak is the site most likely to be recommended with over 76% of business travelers willing to suggest the brand to others, followed by TripAdvisor (74%) and Priceline (72%). Among leisure travelers, the site with the highest recommendation is TripAdvisor at 81%, followed by Kayak (74%) and TravelZoo (72%).

The audit tested 30 of the most popular sites in the online travel space including AOLTravel,,, Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, TravelZoo, Trivago,, TripAdvisor, Smarter Travel, etc. Additional findings include:

  • Among online travel agency users, 76% of leisure and business travelers consider travel websites as their “go to” for booking hotels, compared to only 24% who use specific hotel websites.
  • Some of the top hotel booking sites include (18%), Expedia (15%) and Priceline (10%).
  • Business travelers are more likely than their leisure traveler counterparts, to use travel websites for airline planning and booking. However, the top airline planning sites for both groups are Expedia (19% / 18%), Kayak (11% / 10%), Travelocity (10% / 9%), Priceline (9% / 8%), and Orbitz (6% / 6%).
  • The three most important characteristics to consider for both business and leisure travelers when choosing a travel site are “ease of use”, “lower prices than booking directly with individual travel providers”, and “price guarantee”.

“Our Online Travel Audit is about more than just examining the basic competitors,” said John Antonello, Managing Director of Phoenix Travel and Leisure. “We look at the travel industry in its entirety, along with consumer sentiments around brands and advertising.  This gives us more of a holistic approach to getting all-inclusive data and the ability to deliver actionable insights for brand and marketing professionals in the online travel industry.”

In the coming weeks additional findings will be released including details on the top ads in the Airline, Car Rental, Hotel categories. Ads from top Orlando destinations such as Disney, Universal and Visit Orlando are also part of this study.

About Phoenix Marketing International

Phoenix Marketing International is a premier global marketing services firm providing its clients with tailored, unique insight into their customers and markets via a wealth of existing proprietary data. Coupled with custom research products and the latest qualitative and quantitative techniques, Phoenix has extensive research experience across the Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Converged Technology and Media, Restaurant, and Travel/Leisure sectors. From the strategic definition of consumer needs to effective marketing program implementation, PMI provides profit-driven market solutions and is committed to maximizing a client’s Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) by leveraging the ability to attract and retain new business through cost efficient data acquisition and statistical modeling techniques. Founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO, Allen R. DeCotiis and President, Martha Rea, Phoenix Marketing International has established its global presence with offices in major locations such as New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Detroit, and London.

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