New Orbitz Survey Finds Travelers Prefer To Book With Online Agencies To Comparison Shop Multiple Hotel Brands, Access Lowest Rates
CHICAGO, August 25, 2004 - Orbitz (Nasdaq: ORBZ), the site that makes it easy to find great travel deals, today announced the results of a national survey of travelers with internet access that reveals the majority (91%) want to comparison shop multiple hotel brands when booking a hotel. According to the Orbitz Hotel Survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive®, nearly half of consumers (49%) believe web sites like Orbitz offer the lowest hotel rates more than calling hotels directly (25%) or using hotel websites (22%) do.
Amid industry discussion on where consumers find the best hotel deals, with online agencies or through hotels directly, the survey found that over the next 12 months, more online travelers (43%) anticipate using third-party sites like Orbitz most frequently for hotel reservations than calling a hotel directly (40%) or using hotel websites (35%).
"More than half of all hotels booked online are booked by a third-party agency such as Orbitz," according to a 2004 study by PhoCusWright. The study also confirmed, "Third-party sites offer compelling deals and shopping options and will continue to represent the greater share of hotel Internet bookings."
Low prices aren't the only reason consumers turn to sites like Orbitz when booking hotel rooms. Besides price, the majority (65%) of travelers look for the ability to search for hotels near a specific address, and another 33 percent value the ability to search for hotels by specific amenities such as a pool or fitness center - features that are both available on Orbitz.
"This study confirms that the vast majority of travelers want to shop multiple hotel brands when booking a hotel," said Kurt Weinsheimer, vice president of Hotels at Orbitz. "At Orbitz, travelers get a one-stop shop for hotels, and our unique Matrix display makes it easy to compare different brands and properties by location, price and quality. Plus, our OrbitzSaver rate guarantee means travelers have access to the lowest prices available online."
The Harris Interactive® survey also validates that online travelers do not want to call hotels directly to haggle over rates. Among those surveyed, nearly one-third (27%) said that they would avoid calling a hotel directly to request a lower rate because there was no guarantee the rate would be lower than what they already found online; 21 percent indicated that they wouldn't call a hotel directly because they were uncomfortable negotiating by phone; another 17 percent said they don't have the time to make such a call; and 8 percent said they don't want to spend the money on calling a hotel directly.
Harris Interactive® fielded the survey from August 5-9, 2004, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,464 U.S. adults (aged 18+), of whom 1,662 have stayed in a hotel/made a hotel reservation or booked a vacation package that included a hotel stay within the past year. Data were weighted to reflect the total U.S. online adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and amount of time spent online. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall sample. Statistical precision for the smaller sample results is plus or minus 4 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of adults with online access who have stayed in a hotel/made a hotel reservation or booked a vacation package that included a hotel stay within the past year had been polled with complete accuracy. This online sample was not a probability sample.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive (www.harrisinteractive.com) is a worldwide market research and consulting firm best known for The Harris Poll®, and for pioneering the Internet method to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Harris Interactive combines proprietary methodologies and technology with expertise in predictive, custom and strategic research. The Company conducts international research from its U.S. offices and through wholly owned subsidiaries--London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris and Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan--as well as through the Harris Interactive Global Network of independent market- and opinion-research firms.
Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On www.orbitz.com, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, as well as rates at over 65,000 lodging properties and at 22 car rental companies. Orbitz, Inc. became a publicly traded company on Dec. 17, 2003, when its shares were listed on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol ORBZ. For more information on the company, visit www.orbitz.com.
Statements in this press release regarding Orbitz that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause such statements to differ materially from actual future events or results. Any such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following factors, among others, could cause Orbitz' actual results to differ materially from those described in a forward-looking statement: Orbitz' ability to retain and attract customers on a cost-effective basis; increasing competition from existing or new competitors; relationships with Orbitz' controlling stockholders and with other travel suppliers; limitations that could affect the expansion of our Supplier Link business; risks relating to our ability to expand our business generally; specific risks that could affect our ability to achieve growth plans for portions of our business, such as hotels; rapid technological change affecting our industry; technical and operational issues, such as journey control restrictions, that result from changes in travel suppliers' distribution methodologies that could affect our results; risks associated with litigation or government regulation; declines, disruptions or events affecting the travel industry; potential fluctuations in our quarterly and annual results. This list is intended to identify only certain of the principal factors that could cause actual results to differ. Readers are referred to the reports and documents filed from time to time by Orbitz with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of these and other important risk factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this press release. Orbitz undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.