Use of the Internet for travel planning in the US market has reached saturation point but there are still opportunities for growth, according to Dr Dan Wang of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and her co-researchers. In a recent study the researchers reveal the changing trends in the use of the Internet for travel planning, with a growing “bifurcation” between traditional users who use it for “standard planning” and those who are increasingly using it to search for products that offer “deeper and more authentic experiences”. To understand how travellers’ use of the Internet has evolved, the researchers collected data through a multi-year Internet survey. The respondents were all from the US, and were representative of the American population in terms of age, ethnicity and gender. Each year, the respondents were asked a variety of questions about various aspects of their travel. They were initially asked how many trips they had taken during the previous year and whether those trips were for business or leisure. They were then asked whether they had used the Internet to plan their trips and, if so, what type of websites they used, what information they searched for and whether they had made payments and reservations online. Next, they were asked to evaluate their experiences in terms of their satisfaction and how useful they found the Internet for travel planning. Get the full story at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PDF 120 KB)