It is now very common practice for people to check out hotel and travel needs by use of search engines and so-called booking engines.
For the past few years, the likes of Expedia and Orbitz have dominated the booking engine market.
But as the Internet becomes ever more complex these huge companies are having to find new ways to make contact with potential customers, as these customers web surfing habits evolve.
Forrester Research looked into how people browse for travel requirements and discovered that just less than 50% of visitors to these huge travel sites use them to compare their options, then sidestep the booking by going directly to the hotel or airline and making a booking with them.
This is often a cheaper alternative avoiding transaction fees charged by the travel booking engines.
They also discovered that travel bookings overall are down and perhaps more importantly those people who are still travelling are paying far more attention and spending a lot more time researching their travel options.
The research also discovered that many travel consumers are also avoiding the large catch-all travel booking companies and moving towards small niche travel booking sites that cater specifically for their kind of travel requirements.
This may be for example people interested in trekking in India or bird watching in New Zealand going to specific small sites that only deal with that type of trip. An option, which the giant booking sites are in no way prepared for.