Worrying research released today showing that younger web users are increasingly impatient over the speed in which travel sites take to fully load.
The research from web performance giant Akamai, produced in conjunction with PhoCusWright, may have an ulterior motive but the findings are certainly enough to send a slight shiver down the spine of webmasters across the travel sector.
Akamai says the study of nearly 2,800 US travel buyers in the US found that 57% swill wait three seconds before abandoning a site if it has failed to load properly.
But younger users - the coveted Generation-Y, aged between 18 and 24 - have even less patience, with 65% quickly moving to another site in two seconds or less.
A third of those questioned in January 2010 would not bother returning to a website if they had experienced performance difficulties on a previous occasion, the survey says.
Multi-tasking appears to prominent across the age groups. The study found that almost 60% will quickly open another browser window while waiting for sites to load, increasing their chances of finding another option elsewhere.
PhoCusWright research director Carroll Rheem says: "Online travel is a fiercely competitive marketplace with many powerful brands all vying for the same consumer.
"Think about how irritating it is to stand in a line at a physical store - people hate to wait. When they are online, they don't have to wait because there is another travel site just a few keystrokes away."