Online will be most popular travel booking channel in Europe by 2017

It is often easy (maybe even convenient) to forget that the majority of travel bookings are still made offline and not via the internet.

But within 18 months, Europe will be the first region on the planet to see online overtaking offline as the leading booking channel for travel products.

Phocuswright, at its conference in Dublin, Ireland, this week, estimates that the continent’s digital penetration for bookings will move past that of North America (still under half of all bookings) to reach 52% by the end of 2017.

A watershed moment in the evolution of the worldwide digital travel economy, but what is driving it?

At a utility level, it is still the fact that more people are being connected to the web via broadband technology, and many consumers are using their smartphones to access the internet.

But, equally, the major players have done a significant job in building their brands as trusted methods to search and shop for travel products.

In particular, has been the success of the online travel agencies in Europe in their drive to capture a huge share of travel bookings (and, not least, triggering a lot of the desire by suppliers to persuade travellers to book direct).

Phocuswright analysis of the sector found that, in terms of accommodation, almost half of bookings in the sector are made on OTAs, with France, Germany and the UK all seeing those percentages almost double in the space of four years, as direct bookings have fallen.

As a result, online travel agency annual growth rate is 16%, higher than the 13% for online travel and 11 percentage points ahead of the travel sector as a whole (5%).

Find more data in this article from Phocuswright:
The European travel market flourishes as online channels boom

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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