Hamburg, Germany -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/21/2012 -- The trend to book travel arrangements online will continue in 2012 - especially in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. In line with this trend the share of the online segment compared to the total travel market is expected to increase to almost one third worldwide. However, in 2011 the value of the US online travel market was still higher than that of Great Britain, China, India and Brazil combined.
Online travel arrangements continue to gain in popularity across the entire American continent
Compared to 2011, revenue generated in the US online travel market is forecasted to grow in 2012 by a low double digit percentage figure. Clients who bought travel products online in 2011 made most purchases through online travel agents amounting to almost 50%, followed by search engines and websites of tour operators. In the category mobile bookings, hotels were booked most frequently, followed by flights and travel packages. The "Global Online Travel Report 2012" by yStats.com also provides interesting facts about trends outside the USA. In Canada, in early March 2012 Expedia was the leading travel website: it generated twice as much traffic as the second placed website Flight Network. In Argentina particularly younger people tend to book travel arrangements online; however, internet use in this area is growing across all age groups.
Online travel sector is especially successful in Europe
In Europe the total number of bookings through online travel agencies increased by almost 20 % from 2010 to 2011. In Great Britain, more than half of all consumers avoid traditional travel agents altogether and book their holidays online instead. In Germany, in 2011 customers preferred travel agents for more expensive travel arrangements and online booking for cheaper tours. In this sector online revenue has grown considerably, while offline revenue has decreased. In France revenue generated with online travel bookings grew between January and September 2011 more than the total B2C E-Commerce revenue. Additionally, in 2011, B2C E-Commerce revenue in the category "Travel and Holiday Accommodation" was higher than in the next four categories combined. According to the "Global Online Travel Report 2012" by yStats.com almost half of all Italian online customers booked their accommodation online in 2011, making this the strongest category within Italian B2C E-Commerce. In Russia almost 50% of all passengers had purchased their flight on a travel website, while nearly one quarter had booked tickets via phone.
Growth potential in large parts of the Asia-Pacific region
Although growth in the category online hotel bookings is expected to slow down in the Asia-Pacific region between 2010 and 2012, it still exhibits double digit figures. In Japan the share of online travel bookings - in line with the soaring trend - surpassed for the first time 50% in 2010. Unique visitor numbers for travel websites were evenly distributed across all age groups in Japan, while the group of individuals older than 55 was slightly in the lead in the first quarter of 2011. In China in 2011, only 14% of all internet users had ever visited a travel website, but online travel bookings are expected to become more popular there too. The Indian online travel market is also estimated to grow by almost 30% in 2012. The data for Australia is outstanding: as shown in the report by market research specialist yStats.com, the category "Travel, Accommodation, Memberships or Tickets of any Kind" was the most popular online product category in June 2011.
Online travel market in the Middle East is catching up
Spurred by the introduction of online payment options, the online travel market in the Middle East is expected to grow considerably compared to 2011. The yStats.com report predicts growth for the share of online travel bookings in relation to total revenue generated with travel tickets until 2015, compared to 2010 figures.
Tour operators shift focus to E-Commerce
Aside from regional online travel markets, the yStats.com "Global Online Travel Report 2012" also features news about important players in this market to provide a comprehensive picture of this sector. TUI Travel's strategy, for example, to focus on online sales in Great Britain paid off, considering that in January 2012 far more online bookings were recorded than in January 2011. In September 2011, Google introduced a flight search service in the USA, but it was faced with certain restrictions. Meanwhile, Priceline may be able to replace Expedia as the number one online travel specialist worldwide – in terms of international revenue this milestone has already been achieved in 2011. In 2011 and 2012, Orbitz Worldwide signed multi-year agreements with AOL Travel and United Continental Holdings. In February 2012, MakeMyTrip, one of the top online travel firms in India, successfully secured more than 50% of the Indian online travel market. The yStats.com report also provides company news from Emirates, Thomas Cook, Travelocity, Kayak, Odigeo, BookinTurkey, Ctrip, Yatra and Webjet.
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