Bookings on the Internet for Leisure Travel to Soar in 1999, Beyond

It's no secret these days that many companies have moved onto the Internet to conduct business. Commerce on the web is starting to account for large parts of these companies' businesses.

The auto rental industry hasn't been left out when it comes to this trend. Many rental companies now have their own websites, and are disseminating news and information as well as receiving reservations from customers via the Internet.

According to Forrester Research, Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., and USA Today research, bookings for car rentals, hotels, airlines, tour packages and cruises will soar to $29 billion by the year 2003.

The estimated increase in revenue for these travel-related segments are as follows:

Car Rentals (leisure) 836%
Hotels 809%
Airlines 563%
Tour Packages 265%
Cruises 100%

Bookings for the rental industry on the Internet in 1998 accounted for $171 million in revenue for the auto rental industry in the leisure travel segment. In 1999 that number is estimated to jump to $481 million and in the year 2000, to $789 million. Revenue will break into the billion dollar range in 2001 with an estimated $1.25 billion and $1.45 billion in 2002.

According to James McQuivey, senior analyst for Forrester Research Inc., increased Internet bookings are the result of four main reasons. These reasons are that more and more people are getting online, online consumers are avid travelers, companies are continually improving their websites and companies that don't yet have websites are getting online.

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