Online Travel Category Is Strong

By: Ann M. Mack

(Adweek IQ) Online travel advertising grew 39% in the third quarter to nearly 16 billion ad impressions as compared to the same time a year ago, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

The travel category is the fourth largest online advertising category, making up 6% of total ad impressions in Q3.

Travelocity’s parent, Sabre Holdings, was the top travel advertiser in the third quarter with 4.2 billion impressions. USA Interactive, which has controlling interest in both Expedia and, had 2.5 billion impressions, while Orbitz posted 1.3 billion.

“By cutting out the middleman, travel Web sites have been able to pass on savings to consumers through increased use of online advertising to promote special sales,” said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics for Nielsen/NetRatings.

The categories that outpaced the travel industry in Q3, in terms of online ad impressions, were retail goods and services, financial services, and Web media, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

Retail goods and services represented 30% of total ad impressions with 82.4 billion. The financial services and Web media industries made up 19% and 14% of total ad impressions, respectively. Financial services recorded 51.3 billion ad impressions, while Web media had 37.6 billion.

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