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Issue 2001-11 - Friday, October 26, 2001

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  eMail Marketing : full credit to eTravel!

eMail Marketing : full credit to eTravel!

U.S. travellers are slowly regaining confidence

Expedia - Travelocity - Ebookers: their last figures are optimistic when things are disastrous for AMR


If consumers are rather fast to subscribe to newsletters, they seem to be just as fast to…unsubscribe!

At least, this is the conclusion reached by a study carried out by Forrester Research, in the second quarter of 2001, by means of consumer mail panels of 29.000 respondents surveyed in a total of 13 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). These data were amended according to each of these countries' population.

This study also indicates that eTravel has the lowest cancellation rates: an average of 5%.

This is mainly due to last minute deals…and, as a result, to the added value a newsletter might or might not have for an Internet user.


According to this study, the main reason that explains cancellations is poor content and/or information that do not meet users' expectations.

Email frequency and advertising intensity constitute the second element that might prompt users to unsubscribe.

And finally, exceedingly long emails that try and address all their subscribers' possible interests can only lead them to cancel their email subscriptions.


Consumers who prove more willing to play the "permission email marketing game" have the following profile:

55% of the respondents are between 16 and 34 years old

44% have a university degree

46% have been online for over two years

77% of them are technology optimists.

They spend an average of 9 hours online every week

For 95% of them, email is a regular activity

90% of them have a mobile phone

29% send SMS messages

41% think that email is a very good way to get information on new products.

36% read most of the promotional emails they receive.

9% find the information they received so valuable that they decide to forward the emails to a friend.


And finally, the study indicates, if needs be, that email spamming is falling off and is being replaced by the permission email marketing. Double opt-in (demanding explicit permission by mail) even proves to gain the upper hand, especially when it allows its users to indicate their choices and interests.

Source : Forrester Research


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   U.S. travellers are slowly regaining confidence  

The TIA (Travel Industry Association) already carried out a first survey after the terrorist attacks of September 11.

It recently carried out a new telephone survey that polled a representative sample of 1,000 American adults in October 12-14.

We first notice that, without much difference from the survey conducted October 3, 58% say that they intend to take a leisure trip in the next 6 months.

Among the remaining 42% that do not intend to take any leisure trip in the next six months, they put forward the following reasons:

- 27% indicate economical concerns (finances or unemployment)

- 18% claim they do not have enough time

- 15% think that it is not safe to travel now.

Even though these figures prove rather similar to the ones we got in the last survey, we can still notice a slight improvement:

- 65% of American people think that it is safe to travel within the United-States (for 60% in the survey carried out in September 21-23)

- 72% of American people believe that it is important for them to be able to travel as they used to do before September 11 (for 67% in the previous survey).

An improvement can be seen among American people who had planned to take a leisure trip before September 11. Indeed, 77% of them declare that they are not going to modify their plans (for 69% in the last survey).

And finally, among the 23% who had planned to take a trip before the attacks of September 11, 14% indicate that they have cancelled their reservations and 9% that they have postponed their trip or else that they have changed their initial plans.

Source : TIA


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   Expedia - Travelocity - Ebookers: their last figures are optimistic when things are disastrous for AMR  

According to its last estimates, it seems that eBookers keeps on getting closer and closer to profitability.

Its loss for the third quarter of 2001 (before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization) should be 0.5 m pounds, compared to a loss of 5.7m pounds for the second quarter of 2001 (details).

As for Expedia, it is now time for optimism as the company reported that its third quarter earnings before non-cash items would be profitable and should be $15.1 million, compared to its net loss before non-cash items of $1.6 million a year ago.

Its revenue, net of cancellations, increased 89% compared to a year ago (details).

And finally, the site indicates that its turnover for first half of October was 85% of pre-September 11 levels.

As far as Travelocity is concerned, its results keep on improving and its revenues were $78.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2001, compared to $53.4 million a year ago.

Please note that gross travel bookings for the quarter were $784.8 million compared to $649.5 million for the same quarter a year ago. And yet, please be aware that gross reservation bookings for the second quarter of 2001 were $879 million.

The impact held by September 11, 2001 was obvious for these sites but Travelocity indicates that it sees a slight improvement in its reservations and that it expects results for the fourth quarter to be the same as the third quarter.

And finally, Travelocity indicates that its new bookers conversion rate was 7.9% compared to 7.1% a year ago but…8.9% in the second quarter (details).

One last figure: the total amount of unique customers on Travelocity rose to 9.2 million, compared to 5.1 million at the end of third quarter 2000.

We can see that even though the events of September 11, 2001 have had a negative effect on these sites' revenues, their steady and significant growth allow them to view the future peacefully.

But things are completely different for AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, as it just reported a $525 million loss for the third quarter of 2001.

Sources : eBookers - Expedia - Travelocity - AMR


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