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Online Travel Industry to Approach $50 Billion in 2004

Customer Focus Becomes Even More Vital as Market Reaches 41 Million

HTrends The online travel business is already the leading online revenue producer, but news of Cendant's pending acquisition of Orbitz, announced earlier in the month, has injected new vitality into the market, according to the latest eMarketer analysis.
The Online Travel: Marketing and Selling report, released today, discusses strategies that are working in the space and offers insight for agencies looking to attract consumers who increasingly want a personalized experience.

"Online travel agencies have been successful in further reducing margins in what is already a low-margin business," said Senior Analyst Noah Elkin, the author of the report. "But as travel matures as an online industry, distribution alone will not be enough, and neither will low prices."

eMarketer is predicting that leisure and unmanaged travel bookings in the US will total nearly $50 billion in 2004.

"Strategies such as aggregating fares allow consumers to compare rates for themselves, which is why they're working," Elkin said. "Online travel is a huge industry driven by 41 million online travel buyers, and despite ongoing economic and safety concerns, we expect continued growth."

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