Internet Sales Keep Growing, Especially in Travel
NEW YORK (AFP) - The Internet is expected to account for 96 billion dollars in retail sales in 2003 in
the United States, of which some 30 percent will be for travel, according to a survey.
Forrester Research said travel services -- including airline tickets, hotels, and car rentals -- will account
for some 27 billion dollars in online sales this year. The survey indicated that despite the bursting of
the dot-com bubble, Internet e-commerce remains on a strong growth track.
By 2008, the survey indicated, US e-commerce will reach nearly 230 billion dollars, or roughly the sales
of number one global retailer Wal-Mart today. More than 10 percent of all US retail sales will be online
by 2008, the market research firm predicted. It noted that in four categories -- computer hardware and
software, tickets, books, and travel -- online sales already account for more than 10 percent of sales.
Other categories -- toys, video games, and consumer electronics -- are approaching 10 percent online,
and even apparel sales on the Internet are expected to reach four percent this year, despite many
According to the government, e-commerce sales in the first quarter
accounted for 1.5 percent of total sales, up from 1.3 percent a year earlier.
The government survey is different from many private sector reports on
online sales in that the Commerce Department does not count some
categories of sales such as online travel reservations, tickets and auctions