New Travel Search Engines Grow But Still Dwarfed By Existing Players

New travel search engines are growing in popularity, but they've got a long way to go to rival the share established players have. Hitwise: Meta Travel Engines Show Gains from MediaPost covers how stats from Hitwise show new meta travel search engines like Kayak, Farechase and Mobissimo, along with Cheapflights, have a 3 percent share of visits for those going to "travel agency" sites. Expedia, Travelocity, Orbits, Yahoo Travel and CheapTickets have a 60 percent share.

General search results from Google and Yahoo were also shown to be sending the new players lots of traffic. To me, that's not a strength. Ultimately, if a search engine has its own travel search engine (Yahoo does; Google could), it makes more sense to route people into that service rather than making them search, then sending them off elsewhere to do a search again. A Hitwise press release on the data provides more stats, include top terms driving traffic to the travel sites.