Published On: Wed, Dec 4th, 2019

Online Travel Sales Continue Upward Trend

Travel sales continue to boom, and those selling online are reaping the rewards. Research from data analytics company GlobalData found that the global online travel agent market value is forecast to reach $372 billion by 2023 in comparison to $258 billion in 2018.

The company’s new survey, “Impact of Online Travel,” reveals that consumer attitudes are evolving and there is increasing power behind the online travel industry, meaning that travel advisors looking to succeed and grow their businesses need to have an online presence.

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The report finds that this is a global trend and that all destinations, whether identified as technologically advanced or still a developing economy, are gradually adapting to online travel trends.

The U.K. is just one example.

“The U.K. is one of the most technologically advanced destinations and the growth rates for OTA market value is over double the rates for in-store travel agents from 2018 to 2023. OTA had a CAGR of 2.6 percent while in-store travel agents had a CAGR of 0.8 percent,” said Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData.

The perils of not embracing today’s technologies are demonstrated by the failure of Thomas Cook.

“With the devastating collapse of Thomas Cook earlier this year, the U.K. travel market experienced a mighty blow. One of the key factors that contributed to the company’s collapse looks to lack of innovation and investment in online travel trends,” noted Bonhill-Smith. “Hays Travel has now overtaken a large majority of their in-store agencies. However, in order to be a success, the agency needs to ensure that continual innovation and digitization are at the core of strategies in order to engage the UK traveler market as the market value of OTA’s continue to expand over in-store travel agents.”

Those who choose not to innovate are putting the future of their travel business at stake.

“By 2030, it is likely that those who do not continuously invest in online travel and have digital innovation at the heart of a strategy will be largely at risk. The emergence of this key theme is enabling destinations, airlines, accommodation providers and tour operators to more effectively target upcoming market opportunities alongside analyzing existing consumer demand,” said Bonhill-Smith. “Collaboration with influencers, forming creative partnerships and investments in marketing intelligence are three key ways to expand a company or a destination’s presence within the online marketplace.”

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