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Oct 29, 2008

Economic downturn benefits budget travel and cruises

Ed: Luxury travel? Wait for the October report!

Economic downturn benefits budget travel and cruises

UK Internet traffic to travel websites fell by 4.6% between September 2007 and September 2008, but certain sectors are thriving despite, or in some cases because of, the squeeze on household budgets. UK Internet visits to a Hitwise custom category of budget travel firms increased by 5.3% between September 2007 and 2008. The top 10 budget travel companies in the UK accounted for 7.1% of traffic to Travel websites in September 2008, up from 6.4% the previous year.


EasyJet had the most popular budget travel website in the UK during September, accounting for 1.7% of UK Internet visits to travel websites, while Travelodge’s was the fastest growing. The hotel chain, which recently announced plans to open 22 new hotels before Christmas, experienced a 34% increase in UK Internet visits between September 2007 and 2008.

Each of the top three budget travel websites in the UK – EasyJet, Ryanair and Travelodge – has experienced at least a 20% increase in UK Internet traffic over the last 12 months. This online growth is also reflected offline; in addition to Travelodge’s expansion, both EasyJet and Ryanair announced significant increases in passenger numbers in their latest results. However, the big challenge for travel providers is to monetize these traffic increases in the face of falling prices and rising costs.

A Spot Of Trouble At Spot Runner
by Erick Schonfeld 


There is no escape from the advertising recession. Not even for hotshot TV advertising startup Spot Runner. Despite having raised more than $111 million, half of that as recently as last May, the LA-based company may be in for a major round of layoffs next week following the election (and the associated last-minute media blitz).

As many as 25 percent of its more than 300 employees may find themselves without a job come next Thursday. While the exact number has not yet been determined, I have been able to confirm that the company is currently going through a cost-reduction planning process and is looking at all options in light of the deteriorating advertising environment...

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