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U.S. travel e-commerce spending in 2012 broke through the $100 billion barrier for the first as airlines’ beat out hotels websites in the growth race.

And, on the company level, InterContinental Hotels Group, VRBO, TripAdvisor’s BookingBuddy sites, and Kayak outpaced the rest of the pack in page views, while Expedia, Choice Hotels and Travelocity posted some of the largest declines.

2012 Travel Spending by Sub-Category,2012 vs. 2011

Total U.S. – Home & Work Computers

Spending ($ Millions)Share of Travel SpendingY/Y % Chg
Total Travel E-Commerce$102,951100%9%
Air Travel$66,52965%10%
Hotel Reservations$19,38419%7%
Car Rental$9,6989%6%
Travel Packages$5,1405%10%
Other Travel$2,2002%10%


Among airlines, United Airlines recorded the largest gain (4.9%) in page views, but this was mostly due to its merger with Continental, as the latter directed travelers looking for airline tickets to

The assessments of winners and losers, and the U.S. travel e-commerce sales estimates come from comScore as it released its 2012 numbers, with the category growing 10% to $103 billion, topping the magic $100 billion mark for the first time.

Air travel dominated e-commerce spending with a 65% share of the nearly $103 billion in spending. Air travel grew 10% to $66.5 billion, besting the next largest sector, hotels (19% share), which saw spending increase at a 7% pace to nearly $19.4 billion.

Top Airline Properties by Share of Page Views, 2012 vs 2011

Total U.S. – Home & Work Computers

Share (%) of Category Page Views
20112012Pt Chg
 Travel Category – Airlines100.0%100.0%0.0
1Southwest Airlines Co.19.8%20.0%0.2
2Delta Airlines15.9%15.5%-0.4
3United Airlines*9.8%14.7%4.9
4American Airlines13.8%13.2%-0.6
5US Airways Group, Inc.3.4%3.4%0.0
6Continental Airlines Sites*6.4%2.7%-3.7
7JetBlue Airways2.6%2.5%-0.1
8Alaska Airlines.com3.1%2.5%-0.6
9Allegiant Air.com2.6%2.1%-0.6
10AirTran Airways2.6%2.0%-0.6


Car rentals (9% share of the market) grew a tad slower than hotels and were considerably more sluggish than airlines, with car rental e-commerce sales in the U.S. rising 6% to nearly $9.7 billion, according to comScore.

Two smaller categories, travel packages (5% share) and “other travel” (2% share), grew on par with airlines at a 10% pace. comScore estimate consumer spending on travel packages at $5.1 billion, and other travel, which could include a bit of cruise, as well as tours and activities, at $2.2 billion.

Putting aside the impact of United’s merger with Continental, individual airlines didn’t take much market share in page views as Southwest (20%), Delta (15.5%), and United (14.7%) dominated consumers’ page views.

In the U.S. online travel agency category in 2012, Expedia was the biggest loser, with its share of page views declining 6 points to 31.6%. There appears to be a deliberate reason for Expedia giving ground, however.

Expedia’s CFO Mark Okerstrom said recently that the company got “more conservative on marketing spend” in the first half of 2012 as the company worked on improving the operation of Expedia-branded sites, in particular.

Travelocity also came up short in page views in 2012, with its share of page views falling 2.4 points to 7.6%, comScore states.

The largest winners in the online travel agency category were TripAdvisor’s BookingBuddy sites (which include SniqueAway and Tingo ), and Kayak, which saw their page view share climb 2.3 points and 2.2 points, respectively.

Top Online Travel Agent Properties by Share of Page Views, 2012 vs 2011

Total U.S. – Home & Work Computers

Share (%) of Category Page Views
20112012Pt Chg
Travel Category – Online Travel Agents100.0%100.0%0.0
1Expedia Inc37.6%31.6%-6.0 Inc15.7%17.3%1.6
3Orbitz Worldwide12.9%12.9%-0.1
4Fareportal Media Group8.5%9.2%0.7
5Travelocity10.0%7.6%-2.4 Network4.7%6.9%2.2
7BookingBuddy Sites0.0%2.3%2.3


On the hotel front, InterContinental Hotels Group was the biggest gainer, rising 3.5 points to a 7.9% share while still trailing Marriott, which leads all the major brands with a 11.7% share.

HomeAway’s VRBO shot up 3.3 points to an astounding 6.5% share of page views when you consider it has a larger share that Disney Parks, Choice and Best Western.

Choice Hotels saw the largest decline, 2.6 points to 5.4% share.

Top Hotel & Resort Properties by Share of Page Views, 2012 vs 2011

Total U.S. – Home & Work Computers

Share (%) of Category Page Views
20112012Pt Chg
Travel  Category – Hotels/Resorts100.0%100.0%0.0
2InterContinental Hotels Group4.4%7.9%3.5
3Wyndham Worldwide7.9%7.5%-0.4
4Hilton Hotels9.0%7.0%-2.0
6Disney Parks & Travel6.0%5.7%-0.3
7Choice Hotels International8.0%5.4%-2.6
9Expedia HotelsN/A3.1%N/A
10BestWestern Hotels2.7%2.8%0.2