Surfers bemoan ‘time wasting’ travel sites

Awareness of airline, hotel chain, car rental, railway and travel agent Websites remains very low, with many UK Net surfers claiming their time is wasted looking for sites, according to a new survey.

Respondents to the study of users of Travmag, an online travel directory aimed at business and leisure travellers, voted British Airways Britain’s favourite airline site.

“The survey reveals that the travel principals themselves have not achieved the direct sell they had hoped for through the Internet,” says Richard Majewski, founder of Travmag, which launched in October 1995. “Less than ten per of respondents chose to vote.”

But the survey reveals a greater awareness of so-called “travel hubs”, Websites offering broader information and booking facilities. “This demonstrates that the travel industry ‘middle man’ is alive and kicking on the Web,” he says.

World Travel Net, TravelWeb, and Travelocity emerge from the survey as top rated hubs. “These are companies focusing on Web traffic and business, and their marketing has been much more effective.”

The survey also identifies high dissatisfaction among Net users in locating useful travel information.

Nearly half the respondents said a quarter of their online time was “wasted” looking for sites.

“The widely used search engines are getter better, but are not providing a quick and effective route into relevant sites,” adds Majewski.

The survey is based on a sample of Travmag’s users invited to fill in a voluntary questionnaire on their Internet use.

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