A new statistical survey performed by Netherlands-based, worldwide online reservations center Orangesmile.com has found that women are becoming the biggest group in making travel reservations online and that adults aged 55 and over are now using online travel booking sites extensively.
In 2009, says the company, woman will reach the milestone of making 50 per cent of all online travel bookings. As recently as 2006 some 51.3 per cent of bookings were made by men. Orangesmile.com expects the growth in women making bookings to continue, forecasting that women will make 51.1 per cent of online bookings by 2011.
The company’s survey has shown four major reasons are driving this trend:
1. As a consequence of a global feminization, women are becoming more active in their business spheres and, moreover, are more often traveling alone;
2. Despite an average female income that is still lower than the average male income, the average salary for women is growing faster;
3. Women are closing what previously was a gap compared with men in being acquainted with internet technologies; and
4. Women are primarily responsible for family travel and this empowers the other reasons.
The survey also found that an even stronger trend in online travel booking is that the proportion of older bookers is growing rapidly. While in 2006 the share of bookings made by adults aged 55 and over was 13.9 per cent, in 2008 Orangesmile.com found this had grown to 16.7 per cent and in 2009 the company expects it to reach 18.5 per cent.
If its forecast is accurate, seniors’ bookings will have increased 32 per cent over three years. Orangesmile.com predicts the proportion of online travel bookings made by seniors in 2011 will reach 21.5 per cent.
The survey found four major influences on this trend:
1. The growing acquaintance of senior with the Internet;
2. The population is aging in general;
3. The internet-aware ‘younger’ generation is aging into the 55-plus category.
4. Social factors, such as relatively stable income, and the increasing quality of medical support and social care, is helping make seniors more active and mobile.
Nor are these trends merely a short-term phenomenon, says Orangesmile.com: It expects them to continue strengthening at least until the year 2030.
The complete survey report can be found here.