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EMBARKING ON A TRIP: START WITH SURFING THE INTERNET

Internet an Important and Growing Research Tool 

TORONTO, May, 2006 – Canadian Internet users are increasingly surfing the Internet to help them make their travel decisions according to an annual marketing research survey conducted by TNS Canadian Facts.

Findings from the firm’s annual Online Travel study suggest that online Canadians are more likely to use the Internet in their planning and more likely to find this stage important. Six in ten online Canadians (59 %) say the Internet is very or extremely important for making travel plans, which is up from only one in three (34 %) in 2002.

“The Internet provides an easily accessible, rich source of information that allows consumers to research and plan their own vacations and consumers value this role,” said Richard Jenkins, a vice-president with TNS Canadian Facts and the market research firm’s corporate director of public opinion research.

Much has changed in how Canadians use the Internet since 2002 when TNS Canadian Facts first asked about online travel activities. In 2002, the primary online activity was to research the weather conditions (44 %) followed by researching the destination (41 %). In 2006, these activities are important but the Internet is now used for more direct comparison shopping information such as researching travel costs (48 %) and researching and comparing accommodations (47 %).

“What we have witnessed is the maturity of the Internet over the past four years as service providers and consumers have realized the potential of the Web,” added Jenkins.

Online Canadians are placing a higher importance on the Internet for their travel plans and satisfaction with travel Web sites is improving. Just over one in three (36 %) are very or extremely  satisfied with the travel websites they visited, which is up from 27 per cent who were satisfied in 2002.

 The Online Travel Study is conducted annually by TNS Canadian Facts using the firm’s national weekly Internet omnibus Service, TNS Express Online. E-mail invitations were sent to 3,000 members of the TNS Canadian Facts Internet panel comprising more than 90,000 Canadian Internet users who have agreed to participate in survey research from time to time. In total, 1,127 online interviews were completed between February 6 and 13, a 38 per cent response rate. The survey results are nationally representative of the online Canadian adult population and are considered accurate to within 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

TNS Canadian Facts (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

About TNS

TNS is a market information group:
· The world’s largest provider of custom research and analysis
· A leader in political and social polling
· A major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and TV and radio audience measurement services.

TNS operates across a global network in over 70 countries, allowing us to provide internationally consistent, up-to-the-minute and high quality information and analysis. The group’s employees deliver innovative thinking and excellent service to local and multi-national clients worldwide. In the custom business, they combine in-depth sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of new product development, positioning and segmentation research, brand and advertising research and stakeholder management.


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