eMarketer projects that online leisure and unmanaged business travel sales in the UK will total $21 billion this year, a 27% increase over 2006. But the annual sales growth rate will rapidly decelerate over the next four years, dropping below the teens.

One of the reasons UK travelers hit the Internet is to harness the experience of other travelers. Over a fifth of UK Internet users believe Web sites like TripAdvisor that provide reviews by other travelers are the most trusted online sources for reliable travel information, according to a January 2007 survey conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings and commissioned by marketing agency Harvest Digital and pan-European advertising network Adviva.

More consumers trusted sites with amateur reviews (21%) than professionally written guides (15%), regardless of whether they are online tourist guides, such as TimeOut.com, or local information sites like VisitScotland.com. Sites operated by travel agents and airlines were even less likely to be a consumer's first source for reliable destination information.

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