Nearly 5% of all click-throughs by UK users on search engines are going to a travel website, research from Nielsen NetRatings has revealed.
The multi-category travel section, which includes the likes of Lastminute.com, Expedia and Thomson, attracted 41.6 million click-throughs in July 2007, ahead of the member community sector (eg MySpace) with 40.2 million and research (Wikipedia) with 39.3 million.
The travel destinations sector (eg VisitBritain) also has over two-thirds (68%) of its traffic coming via search engines, beaten only by the research sector with 79%.
The hotel sector secured 65% of traffic from search engines in fifth position overall while the multi-category travel sector attracted 62% in eight position.
NetRatings European internet analyst Alex Burmaster said: “Britons online are most likely to be searching for travel deals, social networks or reference information through sites like Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers.
“Reference and information sites have the greatest percentage of visitors coming from search – whether it’s people looking for information on a place to visit, a local service, a hotel or something to buy.
“Research tools, dominated by Wikipedia, receive around four in every five visitors due to search – not surprising, when you consider how often Wikipedia shows up in the first page of Google results.
The multi-category travel sector is only marginally affected by seasonality. In March 2007 the sector 35.1 million click-throughs, 12 million behind research tools.