Weekly online travel review: Travelocity overtakes Tripadvisor

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The Independent Online

Travelocity has overtaken TripAdvisor to reach second place amongst America's most popular travel booking websites this week.

Travelocity's success may be down to a recent social media push based on the traveling garden gnome prank featured in hit movie Amélie. The firm's "Roaming Gnome" has 36,400 fans on Facebook and has recently generated some heated discussion about his next destination - a vote between the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe or Utah. For the week ending January 30, Travelocity edged ahead of TripAdvisor in terms of visits to booking sites and is now second only to Expedia, which stays firmly in the lead amongst US holiday booking sites and amongst US non-mapping travel sites overall.

Southwest remained by far the most popular airline overall, and the second-most visited non-mapping travel website. Budget booking site CheapOair knocked American Airlines out of the top ten this week, taking tenth place.

Outside of the US, travel booking site "Wotif" was the most searched for travel term in New Zealand. Auckland Zoo took second place, as travelers flock to the park to enjoy music with the animals during the sunny weather. Last week, the zoo kicked off its annual "Zoo Music" festival, a series of concerts that runs through March 12 in the grounds of the Zoo.

In Hong Kong, "Hong Kong Disneyland" was the most popular non-mapping travel website (Chinese mapper Centamap was the most popular mapping website). This weekend, the theme park kicks off its Year of the Tiger celebration, a month-long Chinese New Year experience featuring a "Lucky Trail" for children and Chinese New Year cuisine and merchandise.

The most popular travel websites in the US
Data from Experian Hitwise for week ending January 30, mapping websites excluded

1. Expedia 3.51%
2. Southwest Airlines 2.06%
3. Travelocity 1.93%
4. TripAdvisor 1.78%
5. Priceline.com 1.71%
6. Orbitz 1.64%
7. Yahoo! Travel 1.45%
8. Hotwire 1.20%
9. Delta Air Lines 1.06%
10. cheapoair.com 0.90%

This report shows websites for the travel industry, ranked by percentage of visits in the US for the week ending January 30.

Website http://www.hitwise.com