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Barcelona joins the ranks of favorite european destinations for summer vacations: TripAdvisor study reveals most researched European Cities, hotels and favorite attractions as consumers plan their summer vacations online

May 20, 2002-- TripAdvisor, the first and only performance-based marketing service targeted specifically at the travel industry, announced today the results of a study conducted during the month of April 2002 to determine the most researched European destinations for summer vacations.

Built to address the frustration experienced by travel consumers using traditional web search engines, TripAdvisor’s specialized web search technology scours the Internet to find only the most relevant articles and opinions about travel available on the web for destinations, hotels and activities within North America and Europe. One of the most popular Travel sites on the web, TripAdvisor receives over 800,000 unique visitors a month.

TripAdvisor’s study shows the top five European cities consumers researched online during this time period were:

1. Paris, France

2. London, England

3. Rome, Italy

4. Barcelona, Spain

5. Venice, Italy

Barcelona, a newcomer to what most consider popular European cities, is indicative of Spain’s new appeal as a favorite country for vacationing. According to a recent annual report by the World Tourism Organization, Spain was ranked the second most popular tourist destination.

Additional research revealed the top five attractions and most researched hotels for each city (see list below). Among the most common themes for people researching European hotels online included finding a great value for their money - an inexpensive, clean place to stay in a convenient location with a decent atmosphere. Most popular attractions included famous museums, cathedrals, gardens, and historic landmarks. "Moulin Rouge" in Paris also appeared as a favorite attraction, showing how the famous movie has influenced the popularity of a local Paris attraction.

"With an exclusive focus on travel search and our new coverage of Europe, we were able to pull together very interesting data for travel suppliers and advertisers about the most popular cities, hotels and attractions for planning summer vacations," said Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor. "Consumers are still relying on the Web for travel planning to find great deals, reviews and the latest information on their favorite destinations. We have been able to capture important consumer travel trends and will continue to research topics such as these that are relevant to travel marketers and suppliers."

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, Inc. provides a comprehensive travel search engine and directory that helps consumers research their travel plans via the web. The company also offers travel suppliers a performance-based marketing medium that generates average click-through rates of over 10% per page. TripAdvisor, Inc. is a privately held, venture-backed company that has won dozens of awards including "Best of the Web 2001" from The San Francisco Chronicle and "Incredibly Useful Site of the Day" by Yahoo! Internet Life. TripAdvisor.com is one of the top travel sites on the web, averaging over 800,000 unique visitors per month. Partners include leading travel companies such as Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Radisson, Six Continents, Delta Airlines and its content is featured on other popular sites including www.lycos.com and www.smarterliving.com. TripAdvisor is based in Needham, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.tripadvisor.com.