Impact of Online Travel - Thematic Research

Impact of Online Travel - Thematic Research


In order to succeed within today’s travel industry, the importance of holding an online platform could not be more crucial. Global online travel agent market value is forecast to reach US$372bn by 2023 in comparison to US$258bn in 2018. Evolving consumer attitudes are driving the increasing power behind the online travel industry. All destinations, whether identified as technologically advanced or still a developing economy are gradually adapting to online travel trends.

The UK is one of the most technologically advanced destinations and the growth rates for Online Travel Agents (OTA) market value is over double the rates for in-store travel agents during 2018 to 2023. In the UK, 2018 marked the year when the market value of Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) overtook in-store travel agents. Online Travel Agents (OTA) had a CAGR of 2.6% while in-store travel agents had a CAGR of 0.8%.

Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) are now the most typically booked provider with close to 39% of UK travelers using an Online Travel Agents (OTA) in 2019. Travelers can now generally handle all aspects of the booking themselves. Pre-booking, arranging accommodation, hotels, transport, in-destination navigation and post vacation reviews highlight that the 21st century traveler is not only more independent, but also more powerful than ever before.

With the devastating collapse of Thomas Cook earlier this year, the UK travel market experienced a mighty blow. One of the key factors that contributed to the companies collapse looks to lack of innovation and investment in online travel trends. 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 Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) continues to expand over in-store travel agents.

The research report “Impact of Online Travel - Thematic Research” takes an in-depth look at the theme of Online Travel including the major impacts it will have on the industry, across the key players and tourists. This report analyzes the key trends within online travel, and then presents an array of case studies, observing the impacts and offering recommendations for travel & tourism companies. In addition, the major companies that are and have been involved within online travel are then discussed.


  • This thematic report provides an overview of the effect of online travel across tourists and travel providers today.
  • The key trends within this theme are identified relating to other themes such as the personalization and the experience economy, but also specific to online travel.
  • Several case studies are included to analyze both the positive and negative impact of online travel across a variety of tourism providers including tour operators, accommodation providers, airlines and destinations.
  • Our unique thematic analysis then dives deep into the development of online travel, views surrounding this theme and identifies that all destinations whether identified as technologically advanced or still a developing economy, are gradually adapting to online travel trends.
  • Companies that dominate the online travel industry are then listed including the likes of Expedia, BookingHoldings and AirBnb.
Reasons to buy
  • Understand the online travel industry through accessing the impacts and observing case studies identifying the key leaders, those who are likely to disrupt and those who fell behind.
  • Assess the relationship that destinations, airlines and tour operators have with Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) and discover the reasons why one needs the other to survive.
  • Discover how to develop an online travel presence through an array of recommendations and assess all the implications that may be involved.
  • GlobalData’s thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.

  • Introduction
  • Players
    • Table Figure 1: Who are the key leaders within the online travel industry?
  • Trends
    • Trends within travel and tourism
      • Table Trends within travel and tourism
  • Case studies
    • Thomas Cook
    • Airbnb
    • AirAsia
    • Lonely Planet
    • easyJet
    • Moroccan National Tourism Office
  • Analysis of online travel
    • Table Figure 2: Online travel market value is expected to grow expansively over the next four years.
    • Table Figure 3: GlobalData's global consumer survey (Q32019) found that all generations are likely to book an OTA over an instore face-to-face travel agent, whilst price comparison websites are less popular amongst older generations.
    • Regions across Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Africa are the most heavily dependent on travel agencies
      • Table Figure 4: GlobalData's global consumer survey (Q3 2018) found that both accessibility and affordability were the most influential factors within the booking process. Recommendations by friends and family alongside social media are also key drivers, causing disruption within the travel industry.
    • Travel providers are under immense pressure to digitalize, personalize and incorporate sustainability into marketing strategies
      • Table Figure 5: GlobalData's global consumer survey (Q42018) finds that digitalization, sustainability and personalization are dominant factors behind the booking process. Across the travel industry, including for online operators, companies are more exposed than ever when innovation is not a key priority.
    • Timeline
      • Table Figure 6: The story behind the emergence of online communications and the key players involved.
  • Mergers and acquisitions within tourism
    • Table Mergers and acquisitions within tourism
  • Online market value analysis by geographical location
    • UK
      • Table Figure 7: In the UK OTA's market value overtook in-store travel agents in 2018
    • US
      • Table Figure 8: In the US, the market value of online tour operators overtook in-store tour operators in 2017
    • India
      • Table Figure 9: GlobalData's forecasts highlight how the market value of OTA's is expected to outstrip in-store travel agents across India.
    • China
      • Table Figure 10: Across China, the market value of in-store travel agents still very much dominates over OTA's
    • Mexico
      • Table Figure 11: Within Mexico, in-store travel agent market value remains much higher than OTA's market value although with changing generational trends online options are growing in importance
    • Russia
      • Table Figure 12: In Russia it is clear that in-store travel agents market value dominate over OTA's. All online communication channels however are forecast to hold higher CAGRs according to GlobalData's forecasts for 2018 to 2023
  • Impact on Travel and Tourism
    • All travel providers have been urged to switch to online channels
    • Instant communication has rapidly developed between suppliers and consumers
    • Credibility of CGC is under jeopardy
    • Destinations form creative partnerships for added competitive advantage
    • The battle between hoteliers and OTA's is ongoing yet collaboration is inherently important to survive in today's industry
      • Table Figure 13: Sawday's Owner Survey 2017 results suggest that independent operators most commonly require booking providers to enhance marketing communications and to directly appeal to the right market. Only 11% of companies aspire for a booking provider to monitor cancellations, bookings and effectively manage overall operations.
    • Recommendations for the Travel and Tourism sector
  • Value Chain
    • Table Figure 14: Online travel value chain
    • Third-party
    • Direct suppliers
    • Ancillary suppliers
  • Companies
    • Companies within travel and tourism
      • Table Companies
  • Glossary
    • Table Glossary
  • Appendix: Our thematic research methodology
    • Viewing the world's data by themes makes it easier to make important decisions
    • Traditional research does a poor job of picking winners and losers
    • That is why we developed our "thematic engine"
    • How do we create our sector scorecards?
      • Table Figure 15: Our five-step approach for generating a sector scorecard
    • What is in our sector scorecards?
    • How do we score companies in our thematic screen?
    • How our research reports fit into our overall thematic research ecosystem
    • About GlobalData
    • Contact us
    • Disclaimer

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