Friday, November 18, 2011

Top-10 destination and accommodation websites

As Kiwis are starting to realise that Christmas is quickly looming, it is timely to analyse a snapshot of the top-10 rankings for destination and accommodation websites in New Zealand. 

TripAdvisor, the provocative website that can quickly divide a room of accommodation industry-folk, remains in the top-spot. Love 'em or loathe 'em, TripAdvisor is the travel website that the largest percentage of Kiwis visit while researching travel.

Of interest to accommodation providers is that is now the most popular bookable Online Travel Agency website having wrestled the top-spot away from is part of the Nasdaq listed heavyweight, and claims to be "the leading worldwide online hotel reservations agency by room nights sold, attracting over 30 million unique visitors each month." One of the main reasons that has muscled its way to the top is by outbidding all others with aggressive local marketing.

It is interesting to ponder if part of's surge in popularity is their policy of not taking payment upfront from customers at the time of reservation. A credit card is required to guarantee the reservation, however payment is deferred until processed by the accommodation provider at the guests' arrival (Agency commissions are direct debited from the accommodation provider monthly). 

Will be able to sustain their dominant position in New Zealand?

TradeMe's Holidayhouses and AA's Bookabach remain popular as a flood of privateer homeowners remain willing to expose themselves to the short term accommodation market. The web stats suggest that a vast number of Kiwis planning a trip seem to be at least willing to have a voyeuristic look at the emerging holiday home sector while considering accommodation options.

The AA and Jasons with their vast array of travel information that includes bookable accommodation still attract strong numbers of browsers. 

New Zealand Tourism Online still remains a popular site that has maintained its Google ranking to attract travel browsers to its eclectic database of listings.

The top-10 rankings for destination and accommodation websites for the week ending 12 November 2011 according to Experian Hitwise are:

(Click graphic for a larger view)

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