November 9th, 2012 by Craig Labovitz

With the breaking news of Priceline’s astounding $1.8 billion acquisition of Kayak, I got to wondering how much are travel sites worth?

Is Kayak really nearly twice as valuable as say, an Instagram?

The below graph shows how Kayak stacks up in popularity against other large travel sites. As in other blog posts, we use data from an ongoing large scale study of Internet backbone traffic across a large cross section of North America and multiple collaborating infrastructure and Internet providers (although based on a different dataset, more information about our basic methodology is available here).

The second column shows percentage of unique Internet users visiting a site or related third-party content at least once a day on average. The third, “percent of traffic”, column provides the daily percent of global Internet traffic to the sites and the last column shows 10 day patterns in the percentage of unique Internet visitors.

Based on data across several million Internet users, Expedia dominates the travel industry with 1.5% of all Internet users visiting at least once a day. At just over 1%, Kayak is second followed by HotWire at a distant third.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Instagram averages a massive 9.5% of Internet users a day and a thousand-fold the volume of traffic.