By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

QANTAS, Jetstar, Virgin, Tiger Airways and other airlines spent an estimated A$3.1m on website advertising to stimulate demand during the December quarter, giving aviation a 41% share of the travel industry’s digital display spend of A$7.5m. Accommodation suppliers and sellers spent A$1.2m, followed by OTAs and traditional retail – A$1m. Overall travel spent 20% more on digital display ads in the three months to December 31, 2008, than for the same period in 2007.

These figures were revealed in the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau Advertising Expenditure Report, which showed that the Finance, IT, Motor Vehicles and Entertainment industries are by far the biggest buyers of online display ads. Interestingly, given present economic turmoil, finance dramatically increased its spend throughout the year – dropping A$27.6m on digital display during the December quarter, 40% more than the previous year.

As a result of such extravagance, travel’s share of total digital display spend dropped to 6.3% for 2008 compared with 6.93% during 2007. The IAB report showed the fastest spending growth came in the search and directories sector, which was up 30% year on year and now has 48.5% of total online spend. Most of travel’s online ad dollars go into search but the IAB was unable to provide an industry by industry breakdown, no doubt due to Google’s domination of the sector aligned with its well-known secrecy. You can be sure travel spends much, much more on search….Travel Trends: February 9, 2009

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