News Online travel outlook more optimistic than feared, says Skyscanner

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Online travel outlook more optimistic than feared, says Skyscanner

Skyscanner traffic grows 32% despite Hitwise flight search downturn report

Skyscanner traffic grows 32% despite Hitwise flight search downturn report

Skyscanner has reported a rise of 32% in online flight search traffic over the last 12 months, going against last week’s Hitwise report of a 42% fall in internet searches for flights.

Some industry disagreement has already surfaced over Hitwise’s data due to the fact that their analysis was based on a date range with an unusually low number of working days, which is thought to have influenced the results.

Skyscanner’s analysis of its own data shows that total traffic has risen by 32% in the past year. UK traffic was up 12%, and there has also been a significant rise in visitors from the USA (97%), Portugal (92%), The Netherlands (88%) and Germany (60%). This suggests that the online flight sector is not in the dire straits that Hitwise’s report advocated.

Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder commented:

“There’s no doubting that 2009 will be a tough year for the online travel industry, but our data suggests that either Skyscanner is bucking the downward trend, and/or the situation is not as bad as Hitwise reports. We have worked hard to improve Skyscanner by expanding our coverage and entering new markets over the last year, and have seen growth in flight searches despite the economic gloom.

Travel is still very important to consumers, as well as a necessity for many businesses. The real difference that the economic downturn has brought is the increased emphasis on finding the cheapest flights possible, hence why more users are coming to Skyscanner.”

Skyscanner’s multilingual site, which is available in 20 different languages including French, Spanish, German and Chinese, is also helping expansion into new markets. The flight search engine recently launched Top Level Domains (TLDs) for several of its key markets, including: Skyscanner.de, Skyscanner.fr and Skyscanner.es, further boosting its profile in these territories.

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