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The Web is changing the face of travel more radically than any innovation since the airplane. Even though current on-line bookings are low, that’s set to change¿soon. According to Jupiter Communications, a New York research firm, Internet travel revenue hit the $2 billion mark in 1998, more than doubling 1997 revenues.
While $2 billion sounds like a hefty sum to the average skier planning an annual pilgrimage to the mountains, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Jupiter predicts that Web travel sales will average more than 125 percent growth per year until 2002, by which time travel sites will account for 7.9 percent of the market. Why the big increase? Consumers appreciate the Web’s on-command service: They key in a departure and arrival airport, and within two minutes they receive the lowest fares available at that moment. Translation: No more waiting for a travel agent to call back.