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2009 Branding & Loyalty for Online Travel Agencies

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2009 Branding & Loyalty for Online Travel Agencies

Overview: 2009 Branding & Loyalty for Online Travel Agencies (Wave 2) – Expedia v. Travelocity v. Orbitz

Online travel remains one of the largest segments for consumer spending on the Web; however, the current economy has slowed travel spending in 2009. At least half of consumers indicate they are less likely to travel for leisure in 2009 due to the economy. In 2005, our research found that Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz led the online travel industry with competitive prices and convenient travel packages, significantly outperforming travel suppliers. Today, Expedia has clearly pulled ahead of Travelocity and Orbitz as the leading online travel agency, while travel suppliers such as Southwest, Delta, American Airlines and United have significantly narrowed the gap with the OTAs. In addition, travel referral sites such as and are showing a strong increase in usage, as travelers are seeking even better online travel deals, now more than ever.

By comparing data from 2005 to 2009, the report illustrates how the travel industry has changed over the past 4 years and identify how current factors, such as the economy, are impacting consumers’ leisure travel decisions.


  • Learn the impact of the current economic climate on travel and perceptions
  • Determine which online travel agency users prefer overall and why
  • Understand what drives loyalty for leading online travel agencies
  • Explore what features and functionality are most important to consumers
  • Identify how the sites differentiate themselves to build brand affinity
  • Learn whether consumers recognize key differentiators and if they matter
  • Discover industry best practices based on consumer preferences


  • 57% of consumers are less likely to travel for leisure in ’09 due to the economy
  • 41% base their travel selections, including destination, on available deals
  • 47% of users visit 4 or more sites when planning a trip; Up from 30% in 2005
  • Competitive prices (94%), followed by ease of use (81%), and good customer service (76%) remain the top factors in deciding which OTA to use
  • Consumers are twice as likely to prefer Expedia (43%) versus Travelocity (23%) and Orbitz (22%)
  • 68% of users remain loyal to Expedia after comparing the site experience to Travelocity and Orbitz; Only 40% remain loyal to Travelocity
  • Travelocity’s brand performance has fallen since 2005; In 2005, 38% attributed Travelocity with ‘good value’ compared to only 21% in 2009

Table of Contents

1. Background
–Report Highlights
2. List of Figures
3. Detailed Findings
–Behavioral Analysis
–Travel Outlook 2009
–Consumer Attitudes
–Overall Preference
–Task Performance
–Customer Loyalty
–Brand Affinity
4. Conclusion
5. Appendix

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