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The vacation starts online

Unique visitors, in millions, October.

Expedia 18.8
TripAdvisor Media Group 18.3
Travors Media 14.9 13.5
Southwest Airlines 10.4
Yahoo! Travel 10.4
Orbitz Worldwide 9.7
Travelocity 7.8 Network 7.4
Fareportal Media Group 6.5


The travel industry has adapted well to retail shopping, aided by strong search engines and a bargain-hungry public. For the industry and the big four online agencies - Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and Travelocity - the stakes are high. On Friday, Priceline announced that it would buy a younger rival, Kayak, for $1.8 billion in cash and stock.

Other top travel properties incliude the TripAdvisor Group, which offers 19 sites built around traveler-based reviews, and Tavora, which integrates advertising and content for publishers like Fordor's and Rough Guides.