Rapid Growth of the European Online Travel Market
The overall development of the online travel market in Europe has been very positive. The total number of bookings through online travel agencies increased by almost 20% from 2010 to 2011. Great Britain is still expected to account for the largest share in 2013, followed by Germany and France. In 2011, the reach of online tour operators was also the highest in Great Britain, while the strongest growth was observed in Germany. In 2011, Expedia had the highest number of unique visitors in Europe, followed by Priceline.
Growing online revenue for travel in largest European markets
In Great Britain, more than half of all consumers avoid traditional travel agents altogether and book their holidays online instead. In line with this trend, more than half of all internet users used online services for travel and accommodation in 2011. As shown in the "Europe Online Travel Report 2012" by yStats.com in 2011, customers in Germany preferred traditional travel agents for expensive travel arrangements and online booking for cheaper tours. Online revenue has grown considerably in this sector, while offline revenue has decreased. In France, revenue generated with online travel bookings grew as well between January and September 2011, more than the total B2C E-Commerce revenue. Additionally, B2C E-Commerce revenue in the category "Travel and Holiday Accommodation" was higher in 2011 than in the next four categories combined.
Online bookings popular across the entire European region
Almost half of all Italian online customers booked their accommodation online in 2011, making this the strongest category in Italian B2C E-Commerce. In 2011, in the Netherlands online train travel planner "Nederlandse Spoorwegen" and public transport planner "9292OV.nl" were among the most frequently visited travel websites. In 2011, more than three quarters of all Danes booked their holidays online, while less than 10% used the services of a traditional travel agent. In Norway, "Travel and Holiday Accommodation" was the most popular online product category in the second quarter of 2011. According to the yStats.com "Europe Online Travel Report 2012" almost half of all passengers in Russia had purchased their flight on a travel website, while almost one quarter had booked tickets via phone. Using the internet to buy travel arrangements or accommodation online was popular in Turkey in 2011.
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