The global online travel market is far from mature in 2014, continuing its steady growth in all travel categories. However, online travel consumers are changing as they embrace new internet devices like smartphones and tablets, demand more personalised real-time services and enjoy sharing travel reviews and services with their peers.
These consumer trends have a deep impact on the competitive environment, giving rise to the increasing importance of technology players like Google and Facebook and metasearch engines. Competition between intermediaries and direct suppliers is heating up, while a new generation of companies may become the future giants of the travel industry.
Approximately 87% of consumers around the world research and book their air, hotel, rental car and tours and activities on one or more of the thousands of online travel websites. More than basic queries on search engines, these searches represent actual travel intent or the potential for a booking.
- Global online travel search provides a strong indicator for bookings with the top three countries searched in 2013 being the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom while the top three booked were the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
- In 2013, the top personas shopping online for travel to Europe were Adventure Seekers (24.6%) and Bucket Listers (17.6%), with peak search periods being May, June and October.