Australia’s 50 Busiest Travel Websites Revealed – But Stats Show Popularity Isn’t Everything

Paid search is the pathway to online success – provided you do it really well and don’t go broke in the process – while online content (the current craze) may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, it attracts traffic but engagement levels can be spectacularly low.

These are two key takeaways from Australia’s Top 50 Websites 2017 supplied exclusively to TravelTrends.biz. by SimilarWeb, the global leader in digital market intelligence.

Take the #1 site – TripAdvisor.com.au.

It had a massive 12.3% Australian online travel market share through 2017 – way, way in front of second-placed Booking.com – renowned for its take no prisoners approach to search advertising – at 7.6%.

Yet the contrast in terms of user engagement is almost equally as large … except in reverse.

The bounce rate for TripAdvisor, which also advertises heavily on Google AdWords to support its accommodation meta-search but gets most of its traffic organically, was 40.3% while average pages per visit clocked in at 5.5.

Contrast that with Booking.com, which had a much lower 2017 bounce rate of 22.8% and 10.5 pages per visit, suggesting far more targetted traffic.

This pattern is repeated through the Top 50.

Content sites were great at attracting visitors but not engaging them.

The travel websites of Fairfax Media and News Corp – Traveller.com.au and Escape.com.au respectively – are the best examples.

Traveller.com.au was the 11th ranked site with 870,000 average monthly visits but bounce rate was 75.6% with average page views of just 1.5 and time on site of 1.1 minutes.

Escape.com.au came in at #31 with average visits of 200,000+, bounce rate of 79%, visit duration of 54 seconds and a paltry 1.5 page views.

The pattern is repeated through #21 Lonelyplanet.com.au (47% bounce), #29 Luxuryescapes.com (50.6% bounce) and #48 Australia.com (58% bounce).

An outlier on the engagement front was #8 Expedia.com.au, which had less page views than comparable OTAs (7.5) and a high bounce rate of 26%.

And yet the average time visitors spent on Expedia was an extraordinary 22 minutes.

Sister company and former #1, Wotif.com, now at #12, recorded an even longer average visit time of 30 minutes with 6.7 page views and an identical bounce rate.

Could it be that Expedia’s sites are harder to book on, or that that the transactions are more complex – adding flights to hotel booking for example?

Given the secretive nature of Expedia the only sure thing is that we’ll never know.

Another jarring result concerns Australian meta-search business HotelsCombined, which had both its com.au (#17) and .com (#27) sites in the Top 50.

Meta-search rivals such as #7 Skyscanner.com.au and #14 Trivago.com.au had relatively low bounce rates at 14.5% and 18.2% respectively.

But the bounce rates for both HotelsCombined sites were close to 70%, perhaps an indication it’s getting more organic traffic than competitors.

See below for Australia’s Top 50 Travel Sites, which estimate the number of  visits by Australian-based consumers based on a wide rage of data sources.

Australia’s Top 50 Travel Sites 2017 

 

Domain Traffic Share Avg. Monthly Visits Avg Visit Duration Pages / Visit Bounce Rate
tripadvisor.com.au 12.3% 4,072,882 00:05:53 9.20 40.3%
booking.com 7.6% 2,517,494 00:10:52 9.90 22.8%
qantas.com 6.7% 2,217,868 00:08:06 5.65 22.3%
airbnb.com.au 6.5% 2,145,361 00:11:46 18.62 19.3%
qantas.com.au 4.7% 1,559,510 00:08:06 6.55 27.2%
jetstar.com 4.7% 1,543,219 00:11:04 10.18 18.6%
skyscanner.com.au 3.7% 1,227,235 00:09:35 8.42 14.6%
expedia.com.au 3.6% 1,200,084 00:22:20 7.41 25.9%
virginaustralia.com 3.5% 1,168,220 00:06:59 5.64 21.6%
webjet.com.au 3.1% 1,033,282 00:12:04 5.63 18.8%
traveller.com.au 2.6% 870,864 00:01:10 1.51 75.6%
wotif.com 2.2% 720,774 00:30:36 6.70 26.0%
flightcentre.com.au 1.8% 581,625 00:05:29 5.09 27.9%
trivago.com.au 1.6% 515,596 00:07:01 7.95 18.2%
stayz.com.au 1.5% 510,982 00:08:30 7.64 27.9%
tigerair.com.au 1.5% 481,329 00:08:50 6.25 22.0%
hotelscombined.com.au 1.4% 466,949 00:02:44 3.71 67.7%
hotels.com 1.3% 442,989 00:07:45 5.76 29.5%
agoda.com 1.3% 433,563 00:09:06 7.85 23.5%
tripadvisor.com 1.3% 417,795 00:02:48 4.21 60.8%
lonelyplanet.com 1.2% 409,051 00:03:20 3.29 47.5%
airasia.com 1.1% 361,978 00:10:35 9.69 21.5%
singaporeair.com 1.1% 348,390 00:09:52 8.43 14.2%
emirates.com 0.8% 278,936 00:09:04 7.21 18.9%
lastminute.com.au 0.8% 250,278 00:17:18 5.92 21.9%
cheapflights.com.au 0.7% 236,729 00:05:12 4.75 22.6%
hotelscombined.com 0.7% 219,329 00:05:07 3.85 68.9%
iwantthatflight.com.au 0.7% 217,058 00:04:38 4.29 32.7%
luxuryescapes.com 0.6% 215,090 00:02:57 2.52 50.6%
accorhotels.com 0.6% 210,351 00:06:21 6.56 22.9%
escape.com.au 0.6% 207,063 00:00:54 1.46 78.9%
flightaware.com 0.6% 204,461 01:02:22 13.93 27.7%
visitnsw.com 0.6% 202,817 00:03:38 3.18 47.5%
ebayimg.com 0.6% 199,005 00:01:09 1.56 68.6%
viator.com 0.6% 192,414 00:06:42 5.82 32.9%
sydney.com 0.5% 180,181 00:02:32 2.55 51.9%
cathaypacific.com 0.5% 179,936 00:09:06 9.38 16.3%
airbnb.com 0.5% 177,274 00:07:43 12.53 39.1%
qantaspoints.com 0.5% 167,097 00:05:29 3.54 38.5%
kayak.com.au 0.5% 166,394 00:07:06 8.23 20.7%
mymyki.com.au 0.5% 157,771 00:07:26 9.78 9.1%
pocruises.com.au 0.5% 156,211 00:09:30 8.70 23.6%
etihad.com 0.5% 149,436 00:05:46 4.21 30.4%
flyscoot.com 0.5% 149,218 00:08:00 5.82 25.3%
princess.com 0.4% 144,005 00:09:31 8.39 23.4%
sydneyairport.com.au 0.4% 142,918 00:04:07 4.80 25.7%
rome2rio.com 0.4% 142,527 00:05:18 5.46 35.6%
australia.com 0.4% 139,149 00:02:16 2.28 57.9%
melbourneairport.com.au 0.4% 137,237 00:05:22 5.26 25.8%
airnewzealand.com.au 0.4% 135,416 00:06:54 5.82 20.4%
           
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One thought on “Australia’s 50 Busiest Travel Websites Revealed – But Stats Show Popularity Isn’t Everything”

  1. Great research Martin (as always) and your interpretation of the raw data is very perceptive. However, the figures would reward those sites that aren’t all that efficient, but manage to keep you there because you decide to just “plough through”. That means it is recorded as engagement, but is more likely frustration. On the other hand you can see all the thumbnails for Traveller and Escape and not necessarily look at the full articles, but walk away getting a reasonable snapshot. My concern is just how effective Airbnb is compared to hotel sites – hardly the sort of results to suggest they are catering just for people looking to share Aunt Dorothy’s spare room!

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