Over the last decade the online travel industry, a source of electronic commerce, has had a major impact on travel industry. Travelers now can find information and data-rich resources available on the internet to book airline flights, hotel rooms and cruises, and to gather information on destinations. The online travel method is fast, cost-effective and can be done around the clock and anywhere in the world where financial transaction can be secured on the internet. .
The online travel industry has few boundaries. Since travel has few geographical boundaries, and to the widespread adoption of e-tickets, which airlines aggressively push, the online travel sites do not face logistical issues of online product retailers such as shipping and variable tax-collection schemes, the travel industry was uniquely suited for the Web. .
A decade ago, travelers were forced to rely on information from travel agents and airline reservations agents. Today, powerful data base search engines and the rise of travel Web sites have leveled the playing field - and at the same time have brought visibility to discount carriers that lack major airlines' marketing budgets. The overall market for online travel is continuing to grow for all the players, and we expect the market to be 3x to 4x its current size over the next 5 years. One thing does seem to be evident, however, and that is that the Internet has changed the travel business forever. People who currently book much of their air travel online already are enthusiastic about the process. A recent BizRate.com survey found that more than eight out of ten online shoppers cite the following as strengths of online booking as opposed to off-line: *Travel selection (number of flights, hotels, etc.). *Ease of making arrangements. *Destination information (activities at your destination). *Deals. *Prices. *Ease of selecting the schedule. *Timely information/updates. .