Global Online Travel Market
The online travel industry comprises travel e-commerce websites and review websites. The travel e-commerce website provides advice about various destinations, attractions, accommodation, and information on how to access them. Most of the countries and states have its own travel websites, to attract tourists. The conventional travel advisors are replaced by online travel booking platforms due to high penetration and mass reach of internet. Growing preference of travelers towards easily available digital platforms instead of conventional trip advisors has boosted the market growth for online travelling solutions.
Global online travel market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period (2018–2026), due to high internet penetration, easy availability of online platforms, and growing travel & tourism industry, worldwide. People of age group 22 – 31 years are the main audience for the online travel market, as they are the early starters in their professional carrier and prefer to travel for commercial purposes as well as to explore new places. According to a report published by Nicholson Yachts, in November 2016, globally young age group spends about US$ 200 billion on travel every year.
Introduction of Online Platforms Changes the Online Travel Market:
Extensive use of mobile travel applications and travel websites or review websites is propelling the use of online traveling platforms as compared to conventional trip advisors. As per Coherent Market Insights, 41% of gross travel bookings in India are done online and easy access of internet plays a key role in it. Moreover, review websites such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Google significantly boosts in increasing the online travel market as it helps travelers in taking traveling decision as users can get an idea about the place and other relevant issues such as availability of hotels, weather conditions, and others via these review websites. Travelers are active on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where posts or reviews of travel destination can aid in travel decision.
Figure 1. Global Online Travel Market Share (%), By Platform Type (2017)
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2017-18
Increasing mobile usage and innovative mobile apps are the key growth drivers:
Increasing use of mobile devices and social media are providing a new medium for communication. High internet penetration has led to growing use of smartphones and in-turn mobile applications with dedicated websites for trips and travelling such as MakeMyTrip Limited, trivago N.V. Airbnb, Google trips, TripAdvisor, Uber, and others. Easy navigation feature in mobile applications is also one of the key factors behind increasing use of these applications. Furthermore, travel app offers high flexibility to customers and provides an easy medium to stay connected with the services providers.
Various payment applications are launched with special safe and secured feature for online travel applications. Previously, options for payments for travelers were limited to credit or debit card for online payments, however payment options such as PayPal, MobilePay, RuPay, PayU, Stripe, and others have emerged in the recent past. For bookings on e-commerce websites, e-wallets remain preferred payment method, which has increased the number of bank transition for online travel booking.
Global Online Travel Market Share (%), by Region ()
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2017-18
Online travelling market in Asia Pacific is expected to witness considerable growth in the forecast period, owing to growth in disposable income of individuals especially in emerging economies, increased travel frequency from international as well as domestic places, and booming business travel industry in the region. Increased frequency for business travelling is majorly attributed to overseas expansion of conglomerates, which requires constant visits and monitoring. According to Coherent Market Insights’ analysis 2016, over 90% business travelers have mobile phones and more than half business travelers managed journey from mobile devices.
Global players of the global online travel market are OpenTable, Sky Park Secure, Viator, FancyHands, Routehappy, Adioso, Tripit, Eater, Euan’s Guide, Hipmunk, Skyscanner, Owners Direct, and Accuweather.