Online Travel Bug Bites Consumers

July 25, 2011

comscore-top10-gaining-web-categories-bypercent-change-may-v-june11-jul11.gifAn all-time high of 116 million US consumers visited the online travel [download page] category in June 2011, with half of the month’s top-gaining categories falling under this umbrella, according to comScore Media Metrix data. Travel – ground/cruise sites saw the strongest gains, up 14% to nearly 13.5 million visitors.

Total US internet audience declined about 1% month-over-month, from 216.2 million to 214.5 million. Attracts Travelers ranked #1 with 2.6 million visitors (up 14%), followed by FirstGroup plc with 2.2 million (up 22%). Rivals staked out third and fourth place in the ranking, with Carnival Cruise Lines attracting 1.5 million visitors (up 9%) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd with 1.1 million visitors (up 19%).

Hotel/Resort, Travel Agent Sites Receive Boost

Hotel and resort sites also saw a boost during the month with 34.8 million people visiting the category, up 13% from May. Hilton Hotels took the top spot with 5.4 million visitors (up 24%), followed closely by Marriott with 5.4 million (up 18%). Choice Hotels International attracted 4 million visitors in June (up 40%), followed by InterContinental Hotels Group with 3.9 million and Wyndham Worldwide with 3.5 million, up 25 and 23%, respectively.

Online travel agent sites were also popular, rising 10% to 42 million visitors in June. Expedia Inc reached 28.1 million visitors during the month (up 15%), followed by Incorporated with 13.5 million (up 16%), Orbitz Worldwide with 10.9 million (up 10%), Fareportal Media Group with 7.5 million (up 1%) and Travelocity with 7.1 million (up 14%).

Americans Shop Sporting Goods and Toys for Summer Fun

Retail – sports/outdoor sites took the #2 spot on the top-growing categories list as more than 32 million people visited the category during the month, up 14% overall, with eBay Sports U.S. earning the top ranking with 3.9 million visitors (up 18%). came in second with 3 million visitors (up an impressive 94%), followed by with 2.7 million visitors (up 15%). Cabelas Inc saw 2.4 million visitors (up 24%), while rounded out the top five with 1.7 million (up 20%).

Meanwhile, 15.7 million Americans visited a toy site in June, as Toysrus Sites led the category with 5.9 million visitors (up 16%), followed by The Lego Group with 2.5 million (up 11%), Disney Shopping with 1.2 million (up 7%) and with 890,000 (up 26%).

Google Sites Reclaims Top Spot from Yahoo

comscore-top-properties-jun-11-jul-11.JPGGoogle sites ranked as the #1 property in June with 182.5 million visitors, followed by Yahoo sites with 178.4 million and Microsoft sites with 173.6 million. Yahoo had held the top spots for the previous three months, with Google placing second.

In addition, Amazon sites jumped one position to rank #6 with 95.8 million visitors, Disney Online jumped 8 positions to #32 (32.6 million visitors), and jumped nine positions to #37 (30.6 million visitors). Expedia Inc. appeared in the top 50 ranking at #39 (28.1 million visitors).

Google Ad Network Has Long Reach

comscore-adfocus-jun-11-july-11.JPGGoogle Ad Network led the June Ad Focus ranking with a reach of 92.8% of Americans online, similar to its leading reach of 92.3% in May, followed by Yahoo Network Plus (86.3%), AOL Advertising (85.9%), Yahoo sites (83.2%) and Google (82.2%).

Car Rental, Flower Sites Bloom in May

The car rental and flowers/gifts/greetings site categories experienced the largest month-over-month growth in unique US visitors during May 2011, according to previously released comScore Media Metrix data (see link above). The car rental audience grew 16%, from 5.47 million to 6.34 million, while the flowers/gifts/greetings audience grew 15%, from 24.28 million to 27.95 million.

Total internet audience grew 1% month-over-month, from 214.47 million to 216.25 million.

Travel Season Also Starts Strong in 2010

Travel site categories experienced a gain in activity in June 2010 as Americans kicked off the unofficial start to the summer travel season, according to July 2010 comScore Media Metrix data. More than 100 million Americans visited the category during the month, affecting the following travel sub-categories: transactions, hotels/resorts, ground/cruise, and airplanes.

Travel-transactions sites ranked as the top gaining category for the month of June 2010, growing 32% to 5.2 million visitors. ranked first in the category with 1.1 million visitors, followed closely by with 1.1 million (rounding results in having the same figure). grew to 853 million unique visitors, while attracted 457 million visitors.

Hotels/resorts sites also saw strong growth during the month with 36.6 million Americans turning to these sites for lodging options. Marriott ranked as the top property, growing 16% to 6.5 million visitors. Hilton Hotels attracted 6 million visitors (up 13%), followed by InterContinental Hotels Group with 5.1 million (up 14%), Wyndham Worldwide with 4 million (up 9%), and Disney Travel with 3.6 million (up 5%).

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