Another Banner Year for Online Travel


Total U.S. online travel-related spending came to about $103 billion in 2012 according to the latest data from comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR). Air travel alone accounted for about two-thirds of all travel spending. Both the airlines and the Internet travel agencies shared in the wealth.

The top U.S. airline measured by page views is Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), which garnered 20% of all airlines' page views. Number two was Delta Air Lines Co. (NYSE: DAL), with 15.5%, followed by United Airlines with 14.7%, and American Airlines with 13.2%. Adding Continental to the United number gives a total for United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) of 17.4%.

Airplane, dusk
Airplane, dusk

Among online travel agencies, Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) grabbed 31.6% of 2012 page views, down from 37.6% in 2011. Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) ranked second with 17.3%, up from 15.7% in 2011, and Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: OWW), with 12.9% of page views, essentially flat with a year ago.

Among hotels and resorts, Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR) took 11.7% of page views, with InterContinental Hotels Group Inc. (NYSE: IHG) second at 7.9%.

It's a little hard to determine how big a piece of overall U.S. travel spending has moved online, but this chart indicates a total direct spend of $813 billion, for which online sales account for about one-eighth. And as a comScore executive noted:

Travel is a leading online commerce category, and despite being a pioneer in the sector 15 years ago it is still growing at nearly double-digit growth rates and remains very competitive.

The comScore data is available here.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Airlines, Casinos & Hotels, Internet, Research Tagged: DAL, EXPE, IHG, LUV, MAR, OWW, PCLN, SCOR, UAL