‘Internet generation’ fuels major travel growth

The 'Internet generation' of 15-24 year olds who spend three hours a week on the net will drive future growth of online travel.

The forecast came from David Soskin, CEO of price comparison website Cheapflights.

He predicted that with some $115 billion worth of travel product sold worldwide online currently, it is this Internet and technology-orientated generation who will drive the growth of Internet travel exponentially in the next few years.

More than a quarter of the younger age group said they spend more time on the net than they do reading national newspapers, a traditional medium for travel advertising, according to Soskin.

The Internet is only 14 years old and yet in the past decade 30 million Internet users have grown to over one billion, with numbers still rising.

Internet advertising grew by 66% last year, greatly aided by the increasing availability of broadband connection and new technology, Soskin told a travel Internet conference.

Travel websites allowing video streaming of destinations and accommodation have become increasingly more sophisticated with technology allowing site users to personalize information taken from the site, he said.

Other Internet developments such as podcasting, viral advertising and the interactivity of blog sites have created a new and effective way to reach the travelling public, especially the internet savvy younger generation.

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