Annual growth in online sales is slowing and is forecast to fall to 5% a year by 2010, one-third of its rate last year.

Matthew Tod, chief executive of consultancy Logan Tod, told the Travel Trust Association conference last week: “Forecast for growth in online is slowing.”

The growth rate in 2006 was 15% and it is forecast to decline to 12% this year.

The decline will put a premium on persuading more online visitors to buy on travel websites – the proportion of lookers who book is 0.7%.

“Many of you have been able to get away with murder on your sites while growth was high”

“Make sure you put what is most important to the customer on your home page, not what is most important to you,” he said.