Travel Web Sites' Growth: Passing or Permanent?

Online research firm comScore (SCOR) announced Tuesday that U.S. travel-related Web sites were some of the fastest-growing last month. Various travel sub-categories–like hotels/resorts and online travel agents–took four of the top 10 slots among fastest-growing Internet properties in January, boasting traffic gains of up to 30 percent from December.

ComScore credited Americans seeking off-season travel deals and planning ahead for their spring vacations for the industry’s rise. If comScore is right, then last month’s performance was merely a seasonal effect and doesn’t necessarily indicate a broader trend. Indeed, a look back to January 2009 shows travel sites posting impressive gains then, too.

But we think the monthly numbers only hint at the big picture. If venture capitalists are any indication, the travel industry is poised for an extended period of massive growth. And it’s not limited to just the U.S.

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