The Travel Industry Association (TIA) and the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation are partnering on a thorough study comparing methodologies for measuring online marketing initiatives within the travel industry.

“The results of this extensive and comprehensive report will certainly help improve the industry’s results in the rapidly evolving online travel world,” said Suzanne D. Cook, TIA’s Senior Vice President of Research.

“This is a timely, critical and invaluable report that will serve to create a greater understanding of online metrics,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSMAI. “This is absolutely a ‘must have’ for everyone in the travel industry as it will provide insight, analysis models and ideas to establish and strengthen one’s online efforts.”

Preliminary findings and an executive summary were released Wednesday at the HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference in South Florida. To debut the study to the industry-at-large, HSMAI dedicated a general session for a discussion of top-line results from the report at the conference. Cook presented the research along with the special report’s author, Cindy Estis Green, managing partner, The Estis Group, as well as a panel of representatives from some of the participating companies.

Information-packed with research, tips, examples and analysis, the special report entitled “The Online Metrics Handbook for Travel Marketers,” will:

- Define performance from both a business and data model perspective;
- Review metrics used by different travel sectors;
- Identify those metrics deemed most useful and show comparisons;
- Determine the formulas most indicative of performance quality for different aspects of web marketing and identify the issues to improve comparison;
- Establish the range of optimal parameters for internal and industry benchmarking;
- Provide guidance and explanations about the following aspects of web analytics:
- Clickstream data
- Behavioral and attitudinal metrics
- Vendor selection
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Participating companies in the initiative include Amtrak, Carlson, Expedia.com, Four Seasons, Hertz, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Las Vegas CVA, Priceline.com, Travelocity, WebTrends, Woodfin Suites and Wyndham (Cendant). In addition to getting a copy of the Handbook, these companies will receive two additional proprietary reports. The study resulting in the special report was a joint effort of TIA’s eCommerce Committee and the HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Committee.

“We thank the members of both committees, especially those who sponsored the development of this Handbook, for their interest in and guidance of this major effort to investigate and clarify the research techniques used to evaluate eCommerce in travel,” Cook said.

Copies of the Handbook may be reserved online at www.tia.org and the special report will be available early in January. The cost to purchase is $250 for TIA or HSMAI members and $350 for non-members.