An analyst at Microsoft adCenter has suggested that travel companies may do well to utilise pay per click services more during the downturn.

Travel website traffic saw a 175 per cent increase in the final quarter of 2008 compared with the previous year, while travel-related pay per click ad clicks rose by 88 per cent, according to travel analyst Libby Thomas.

She wrote on the adCenter blog that the figures suggest consumers choose to shop around when it comes to travel-related products and services, as they look at different websites before clicking on an ad.

"Capitalise on this by making your ads really stand out – use creative language, special offers and unique selling points," she recommended.

She also noted that most people are now focusing on all-inclusive holidays as a way of keeping an eye on their expenditure and suggested that marketers concentrate on including competitive prices and trust-related concepts such as ATOL guarantees in their paid search ads.

John Delaney, principal analyst at Ovum, told the Internet Advertising Bureau last year that social media is also a key channel for travel firms marketing online, particularly those targeting young consumers.

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