Travel

American’s GDS Gamble

Collectively, the airline industry is posting record profits in 2010, but at least one major player thinks it can do better.  Its contracts with a number of key distribution partners coming due, American Airlines chose December 2010 to start a now heated battle with back-end global distribution systems (GDS) and consumer-facing online travel agencies (OTAs) that could decide the future economics of selling airfare online.  Compete used its proprietary panel

Carnival Splendor Stranded at Sea(rch)

On November 9, 2010, a fire erupted in the engine room of the relatively new, 4,500-passenger Carnival Splendor while sailing off the coast of Mexico.  Despite no injuries on board, passengers were stranded at sea for three days and the ship had to be towed back to San Diego harbor.  While obviously creating a major travel disruption for Splendor cruisers, the event was picked up by the major news services

Home for the Holidays? For many, it will be a last-minute decision

The holiday season invariably finds millions of Americans scrambling to finalize their travel plans, with Thanksgiving being among the most active travel times of the year. The travel industry naturally looks to this time of year for heavy volumes and relied-upon revenue generation and figures from a recurring survey conducted by Compete for several months starting in June pointed to heightened expectations for Thanksgiving travel. Data through Thanksgiving week tell

Spirit: The Airline America Loves to Hate

Spirit Airlines – America’s first “ultra-low-cost-carrier” – has had an eventful 2010. Already notorious for its questionable ad campaigns and aggressive monetization strategies, the airline has recently pushed the boundaries in both arenas, and in turn faced seemingly constant and harsh public criticism. So why, amidst all of this, do we believe this just may be Spirit’s finest hour? By tapping into the clickstream activity of its two million person

Consumer Positions on Peaks and Packages

As the recession continues, consumers continue to evolve their travel thinking. The evolution represents possible opportunities and challenges. Compete recently surveyed its panelists on two aspects of travel planning: Likelihood to travel during off-peak periods, and likelihood to book packages. The likelihood of traveling off-peak is one gauge of consumers managing a desire to travel against monetary pressures. Over half of respondents reported that they are more likely to consider

Compete Releases Top Vacation-Related Web Sites for Summer 2010

Today, Compete released its rankings for summer 2010 top vacation-related web sites. The summer heat seems to be sending people to theme parks, as revealed by our May data. Affordable travel remains popular as vacation packaging sites continue to see more traffic in the summer months. How are people getting around in a cheaper way? According to our data, car rental sites have seen a major increase in traffic, while

Consumer Perceptions of Travel Value Not Promising

In response to the lingering recession, the travel industry has had to aggressively cut prices and at the same time promote value.   Compete recently surveyed its panelists on their perception of value by travel category, 2010 vs. 2009.  "Value" is always difficult to define; in this case we asked respondents to consider things such as price and amenities each category offers.  The same respondents ranked all four categories: Flight, Hotel,

Smartphone Use in Travel Has Room to Grow

As smartphones get smarter and more powerful, it is likely their use for more complex tasks, including travel research and booking, will increase.  But how close are we to that becoming reality?  Compete used its ability to field behaviorally targeted surveys to ask smartphone owners about their use of these devices for travel research and booking.

Lost Bookings Where Are You?

Marriott, Choice or IHG — who’s better?  The answer depends on what you’re measuring.   Compete investigated the extent to which these three hotel chains are capturing bookings vs. losing out to the competition.   We compared these three chains because they are industry leading brands, and collectively have properties ranging from economy and limited service, all the way to luxury and full service. First we measured overall site traffic and booking

Travel Industry Rebound Based on Site Traffic: The Other Side of the Coin

Compete recently completed an analysis showing early signs of the travel industry’s recovery based on overall site traffic to industry websites. Compete has used its ability to identify unique consumers to calculate annual unique volumes from 2007 to 2009. In summary, hotel and cruise showed signs of recovery starting in early 2009, while the recovery for air and car rental first appeared mid-year.

Search is Integral to Driving a Wave of Cruise Bookings

We’re at the height of the 2010 cruise wave season and there is still time for marketers to squeeze out incremental bookings by tweaking their online strategy. Last week, Compete and Google co-presented a webinar based on a recent study of online cruise shoppers and bookers. Using Compete’s dataset of the online behaviors of 2M US consumers, the study examined the online travel-related behaviors of people who visited a cruise