"In an economy like this there is the tendency to be conservative, but all the data we see suggest that there is nothing that can replace the face-to-face relationship," he said.

Although the online travel industry has held up fairly well in the sluggish economy, there are signs of weakness. Expedia's bookings and revenue have grown at a much slower rate than some of its biggest competitors in recent months.

Three-fourths of Expedia's revenue comes from selling hotel bookings, and that business grew by 16 percent in the second quarter. That more than offset a decline of 8 percent in airline-ticket revenue.


Samantha Bomkamp can be reached at www.twitter.com/SamWillTravel

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

3 Tech Setups That Look Tantalizing

4 Nice Setups for a Monday Morning

Google's Awkward Relationship With Uber Could Get Even More Complicated

Amazon's Jeff Bezos May Have a Challenger for Biggest Biceps in Silicon Valley

Stormy Skies Make for Good Travel Buys