10.04.2002  -  Munich

More than 30 million Internet users in Germany / holiday & travel are the Web's most visited sector specific sites / TUI is the favoured travel company

Internet use in Germany grew from 38.9 per cent (December 2000) to 48 per cent (December 2001). This corresponds to an increase of roughly six million people (from the age of 14) to a current total of 30.8 million people. A further four million users plan to start using the Internet this year. This means that for the first time in Germany the 50-percent-mark will be exceeded clearly.

This is one of the most important results of the ninth wave questions of the Internet User Monitor, which was published in March. The study is an independent representative basic study, which investigates in depth the issue “Internet” in Germany and further European countries. The Internet User Monitor is a joint study by NFO Infratest and NOP World London and has been conducted every six months since December 1997.

In its latest study, NFO Infratest more than ever before investigated travel-related issues. Besides general questions concerning user structure and e-commerce, some analyses were integrated, which look in detail at travel issues such as travel types preferred by Internet users. Furthermore, it was investigated, which travel companies Internet users would most likely decide on when booking their holiday.

The study included the question, which websites were visited or used during the last four weeks and the result is that websites dealing with holiday- & travel-related subjects come out on sixth place and beat all other sector specific websites. (see chart).

Jan. 02

  • search engines / web catalogues

79 %

  • main ISP Sites (website of access provider)

65 %

  • news websites

56 %

  • free e-mail services
    (e.g. GMX,, hotmail)

52 %

  • websites used for personal or professional
    training or further education

50 %

  • holiday- & travel-related websites
    (incl. hotels, air/ rail tickets, rental cars)

44 %

  • online banking sites

38 %

  • online shopping sites

34 %

  • music download sites

29 %

  • online auctions

29 %

chart: top 10 of website types, which were visited or used by Internet users in the last four weeks.

The study also reveals that when it comes to travelling, Internet users prefer above all recreational and seaside holidays. City tours and winter sports holidays are also among the favourites. With respect to the typical catalogue offers of travel agencies, package holiday tours are by far the most popular alternatives, followed by family holidays, last-minute travels and all-inclusive-offers. In general, this is in line with the preferences of the whole population. With respect to Internet usage behaviour, the study shows that especially users, who prefer last-minute travels, tailor-made or all inclusive holidays, are – comparatively seen – the most experienced group of users in the area of online shopping. They are also the most likely to refer to themselves as Internet experts.

For German companies in the tourist sector it is an especially interesting question, which travel companies Internet users would most likely decide on when booking their holidays. According to the study, 41 per cent of Internet users would decide in favour of TUI. Far behind follows another giant of the tourist sector, Neckermann, with 20 per cent. While still 12 per cent of Internet users would decide on the company in third place, L’tur, none of the other travel companies is preferred by more than 5 per cent of Internet users.

Background information on 9:
The Internet user monitor is conducted every six months – in December/January and in June/July – in Germany, France and Great Britain. It is conducted totally offline, using CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews), to give an insight into market developments on a regular and continuous basis. For Germany, 5,000 people from the age of 14 belonging to the German resident population were interviewed for the representative survey.

The fact that the latest 9 study investigates travel-related issues in more detail than the wave questions before is – among other reasons – due to the following exceptional circumstances: buyers of the study are invited to propose individual research topics – to a limited extent and in co-operation with NFO Infratest. This method ensures that they are provided with exactly the individual information they need. This time, there was an increased number of companies in the tourism and travel sector, which made use of this opportunity.

The 9 study investigates the following issues:

Further information and more results of the 9 can be downloaded from

About NFO
NFO WorldGroup is one of the world’s leading providers of research-based marketing information and counsel. “Marketing Minds Specialising in Research”TM, NFO has facilitated Fortune 500 clients’ business decisions for more than 50 years by providing in-depth knowledge and understanding of consumers and brands through research. Their services include comprehensive counsel on market evaluation, product development, brand management, customer satisfaction, pricing, distribution and advertising effectiveness. NFO is a worldwide leader in Internet-based research and maintains one of the world’s largest interactive panel communities. They are one of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), and have majority-owned operations in 40 countries.


TNS Infratest Verkehrsforschung
Andreas Leikert
(Consultant Travel, Tourism, and Transportation)
tel.: +49 (0)89 / 56 00 – 1913
fax: +49 (0)89 / 56 00 – 1227

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