Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Top of the (Travel) Pops

Hitwise has revealed the top ten most popular UK travel websites in 2006 across five verticals - Agencies, Cruises, Destination and Accommodation, Maps, and Transport.

Places calculated by percentage share of overall visits of sites between January and December 2006.

No huge surprises, but still interesting to see who's leading the way.


  • 1 Expedia.co.uk
  • 2 Lastminute.com
  • 3 Thomson.co.uk
  • 4 Thomascook.com
  • 5 Uk.Mytravel.com
  • 6 Firstchoice.co.uk
  • 7 Cheapflights.co.uk
  • 8 Airline-Network.co.uk
  • 9 Teletextholidays.co.uk
  • 10 Travelsupermarket.com
  • 1 POCruises.com
  • 2 Cruisedeals.co.uk
  • 3 Thecruisestore.co.uk
  • 4 Fredolsencruises.com
  • 5 Oceanvillageholidays.co.uk
  • 6 Princesscruises.co.uk
  • 7 !st4cruising.com
  • 8 Royalcaribbean.co.uk
  • 9 Islandcruises.com
  • 10 Idealcruising.co.uk
Destinations and Accommodation:
  • 1 Lastminute.com
  • 2 Travelodge.co.uk
  • 3 Activehotels.com
  • 4 Superbreak.com
  • 5 Ichotelsgroup.com
  • 6 Gumtree.com
  • 7 Laterooms.co.uk
  • 8 Information-Britain.co.uk
  • 9 PremierTravelInn.com
  • 10 Tripadvisor.co.uk
  • 1 Multimap.com
  • 2 Streetmap.co.uk
  • 3 TheAA.com/travelwatch
  • 4 Maps.Google.co.uk
  • 5 RP.RAC.co.uk
  • 6 Ordsvy.gov.uk
  • 7 Maps.UK.ask.com
  • 8 Mapquest.co.uk
  • 9 UK.local.yahoo.com
  • 10 Maps.yell.com
  • 1 Easyjet.com
  • 2 Ryanair.com
  • 3 Britishairways.com
  • 4 Nationalrail.co.uk
  • 5 BMIbaby.com
  • 6 Thomsonfly.com
  • 7 Thetrainline.com
  • 8 Flybe.com
  • 9 RAC.co.uk
  • 10 Jet2.com
And here are the top ten searched-for brands in the UK (with EasyJet coming in fifth position):
  • 1 Ebay
  • 2 Bebo
  • 3 Argos
  • 4 Amazon
  • 5 Easyjet
  • 6 BBC
  • 7 Autotrader
  • 8 Tesco
  • 9 Ebay UK
  • 10 CBBC
Kevin May, editor, Travolution


Guillaume said...

Hum! Not too sure about this ranking on the accommodation side...
How does Hitwise measure popularity? Is it based on clicks? I am not sure lot of clicks means popularity.
Why mixing accommodation and destinations? These are two different markets in my opinion.
#6 Gumtree.com feature in accommodation, why not including Foxtons as well...
#8 Information-Britain.co.uk ???better ranked that VisitBritain?

I am quite surprised that Hotels.com / Expedia / HotelClub don't feature there.

So contrary to what you've said, I am quite surprised...


Travolution Blogger said...

Fair comment, G: I have asked Hitwise to explain.

Please standby...

Heather Hopkins said...


Thanks for your comment. Sorry for the delay - I was in Newcastle for the day and without internet access since very early this morning.

In answer to your first questions about our methodology - the rankings are based on UK visits. We gather the data through partnerships with ISPs and are reporting on more than 8.43 million UK internet users. Consumers have voted in essence for these websites by visiting them. Those that receive the largest share of UK internet visits rise to the top.

In answer to why we mix destinations and accommodation websites you raise a very good question and one we've grappled with at Hitwise. We are reporting on over 800,000 websites and organise these into over 160 different industry categories. Even with 160 categories, some categories are quite broad. We have debated whether to separate out the inventory owners from the booking sites, destinations from accommodations, etc. We try to keep our classification consistent so our clients can create historical comparisons.

I should mention that we also have Travel sub-categories for Agencies, Cruises, Transport and Maps. The Cruises sub-category was only created last year based on feedback from clients. We haven't had a lot of demand to separate out destination and accommodation websites.

We do allow our customers to create custom categories on the fly to accommodate the need to compare against a niche set of sites. It would be near impossible to have enough categories to give all of our clients the exact comparisons they'd all want. The custom categories help our clients to compare themselves to a group of competitors that is meaningful to that client.

Hope that helps to explain our methodology for data collection and site classification.

I will be out of the office until Tuesday for a long weekend, but if you have additional questions, you can email me at heather dot hopkins at hitwise dot com or post another comment here and I'll respond via the blog.

Thanks, Heather

Guillaume said...

Hi Heather,

Thanks very much for your full explanation. I still can't fully understand why Gumtree fits into that category. And knowing what Expedia/Hotels.com and HotelClub are doing in terms of advertising offline and online, I am still a bit surprised that they don't featured on the top 10 in 2006.

Regarding the mix of Accommodation and Destinations, I think both sectors must be separated like you did for Cruises, Transportation or Agencies. The online accommodation market reached around B 1.5 pounds in 2006. I think this market deserves to be on its own.