VIRGIN AUSTRALIA VOTED BEST TRAVEL SITE

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA VOTED BEST TRAVEL SITE

VIRGIN Australia's (ASX:VAH) website is taking off, with Australians voting it the best for online flight and travel bookings.

According to the 2014/2015 Travel Website Consumer Recommendation and Loyalty Study, Virgin Australia's site was a leader in overall value, ease of navigation and customer service and support.

The airline beat out its online rivals Qantas, Flight Centre, Webjet, AirAsia and Jetstar, with a net promoter score of +15 per cent.

Conducted by Engaged Marketing, the survey score represents 15 per cent more company promoters than detractors of the 2000 participants.

Qantas, Flight Centre and AirAsia were not too far off, each scoring +10 per cent.

Virgin Australia also recorded 78 per cent positive brand association and loyalty, with a number of Australians stating they would use the website at the next opportunity.

Engaged Marketing managing director Christopher Roberts says the results demonstrate the highly competitive nature of the online flight and travel market.

"While Virgin Australia led in key categories, such as overall value and customer service and support, it did not lead across all categories," Roberts says.

"This means there is an opportunity for one travel website to provide a consistently good end-to-end experience to travelling Australians across all touch points so they can step away from the pack.

"The competitive nature of the online travel space means that customers are searching for a personalised and tailored travel experience that is quick, efficient and provides the best bottom-dollar value, which can be difficult to achieve due to the lack of personal interface and interaction."

Roberts says word-of-mouth promotion from families and friends has the greatest influence on purchasing decisions, so flight and travel websites should take heed.

"One strategy would involve investing in their customer service and support arms to adequately handle issues that may arise in the online process to provide online customers with a sense of assurance if things go wrong," he says.

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