The Recession Effect: Travel Guides Go Online

Millions of recession-weary travelers are turning to Internet to get free travel guides. The new findings come from Fastcheck, a world-leading supplier of free downloadable travel guides that has collected data from over 100 partner websites.

The data reveals that demand for free PDF travel guides increased by 24% over the last 6 months, and reached a record high this month. The largest number of downloads were recorded on www.arrivalguides.com, a site that is maintained by Fastcheck. At the current rate, the company’s free travel guides are projected to reach 14 million travelers in 2009.

“We have seen a steady growth every year but the recession is definitely speeding up the process,” says Mats Tidstrand, CEO of Fastcheck. “It seems that more people realize that they can cut their spending by finding free products online.”

Americans top the list
With over 380 destinations and 2,000 guide variations, Fastcheck reaches travelers in over 160 countries. Increased demand has been observed in almost every market. Americans do, however, stand out as the most active users and account for a fifth of all downloads. At present, the U.S. demand for Southern Europe is particularly strong, and Italy has emerged as the most popular destination country for the summer.

U.S. cities in high demand
Between the U.S. cities, New York (1), Los Angeles (2) and Miami (3) have become the three most popular cities. Other destination guides that are in high demand this year are Chicago (4), Las Vegas (5), Honolulu (6), Washington D.C. (7), Boston (8), San Francisco (9), and Atlanta (10). (To download the free guides, go to www.arrivalguides.com.)

London – the most downloaded city
Findings also show that the world’s five most popular travel guides all feature European cities. As expected, London – the most visited city in the world – ranks the highest (also in the U.S.), followed by Barcelona, Paris, Rome, and Berlin. As the popular city guides are updated more often, they are also downloaded more frequently. Says Mats Tidstrand: “People notice that they get the most up-to-date travel information on Internet, which is a huge advantage and another reason why we expect the online guides to continue to increase in popularity.”

About Fastcheck
Fastcheck is a world-leading supplier of free PDF travel guides. The product line covers over 380 destinations and is available in 22 languages. All guides are financed by advertising and written by travel writers who provide insider information from hundreds of locations around the world.

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