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Online bookers wary of problems

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Consumers are changing their booking habits as the credit crunch deepens and more travel companies crash.

According to a survey by customer experience-monitoring company Global Reviews, as many as 69% of holiday-makers are taking a more careful approach when booking a break than was the case last year.

When choosing which holiday websites to visit, 49% said they use trusted websites, while 44% use a search engine to find the holiday they are looking for.

More than a quarter now check that their travel insurance will cover them before booking and 38% are more careful about the companies they deal with. But only 4% of the 1,000 web users surveyed said they would no longer book online.

Expedia was found to be the most popular website for those researching holidays with 66% of those surveyed visiting the website and more than half going on to buy.

Next most-popular site is Lastminute.com followed by Thomas Cook, Thomson (44%), eBookers, Opodo, Travelocity and Trailfinders.

Global Reviews director Bertie Stevenson said: "When booking their holiday, customers are now just as concerned about the stability of the company as they are in the price."

© Press Association 2008