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.

This thematic research report 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, 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.

“By 2030 it is likely that those who do not continuously invest in online travel and have digital innovation at the heart of a strategy will be largely at risk. The emergence of this key theme is enabling destinations, airlines, accommodation providers and tour operators to more effectively target upcoming market opportunities alongside analyzing existing consumer demand. Collaboration with influencers, forming creative partnerships and investments in marketing intelligence are three key ways to expand a company or a destinations presence within the online marketplace”. – Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Associate Analyst, GlobalData.


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.

Key Highlights

Global online travel agent market value is forecast to reach US$372billion by 2023 in comparison to US$258billion in 2018. Across all destinations whether identified as technologically advanced or still a developing economy, global markets are gradually adapting to online travel trends.

At all stages of the booking journey, travelers can now generally handle all aspects of the booking themselves. Pre-booking, arranging accommodation, hotels and transport, in-destination navigating around in a different country and post vacation leaving a review subject to peers on online travel forums; the 21st century traveler is not only more independent but also more powerful than ever before.

The need for an online presence across multiple platforms is already essential for success within the travel and tourism industry to appeal to global markets. With online travel agent market value expected to reach US$372billion by 2023, it is more than likely that those who do not consistently invest in digital innovation and online communication will be doomed to fail over the next few years and by 2030 are likely to fail.

Even across developing destinations such as Mexico and Russia where the market value of online travel agents is considerably lower than traditional in-store agents, tech-savvy generations are emerging and the need for digitization will become even greater.

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.

DMO’s and TMC’s within the travel and tourism industry should utilize this report to understand the growing emergence of online travel and how both the present and the future will be affected by this domineering theme.

Management roles across different travel providers such as airlines, accommodation providers, attractions and tour operators are likely to benefit, discovering how companies effectively utilizing online travel trends are maximizing potential for success within the industry.

Companies mentioned

Airbnb, AirAsia, BookingHoldings, British Airways,, easyJet, Expedia, GetYourGuide, Hyatt Hotels International, Intrepid Travel,, Marriott International, STA travel, TripAdvisor, Thomas Cook.

Table of Contents



Trends within travel and tourism

Case studies

Thomas Cook



Lonely Planet


Moroccan National Tourism Office

Analysis of online travel


Mergers and acquisitions within tourism

Online market value analysis by geographical location







Impact on Travel and Tourism

Recommendations for the Travel and Tourism sector

Value Chain


Direct suppliers

Ancillary suppliers



Appendix: Our thematic research methodology


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