Online Travel – Thematic Research

To be successful within the travel industry today, it is incredibly important to establish an online presence. The online travel sector has grown rapidly, and as more consumers turn to online sources, a presence will be critical to remaining relevant.

This thematic research report takes an in-depth look at the theme of Online Travel and its role within the travel sector today. This report analyzes the key leaders within this theme alongside the customer, enterprise, and main niche trends that are driving major changes within the travel landscape. It then dives deep into an industry analysis presenting an array of case studies looking at how it is being used to drive awareness and the impact of this theme on the sector. Recommendations are then offered for the travel sector alongside a description of companies mentioned throughout.

“Times are changing and online travel will continue to boom as more of the population become avid internet users. Gone are the days of visiting a high-street travel agent to book a holiday. The online world is becoming the most important distribution channel for firms to inform, engage and sell travel products to a much wider audience. As more companies seek to establish an online presence, more innovation will occur to better meet the needs of the 21st century traveler.” – Gus Gardner, Travel & Tourism Associate Analyst, GlobalData.


This thematic report provides an overview of Online Travel’s role within the travel sector today and how it will continue to evolve.

The key trends within this theme are split between consumer trends and enterprise trends that are recognizable today.

Several case studies are included to analyze the multiple ways travel companies and DMO’s have utilized the theme of Online Travel within the market.

Our unique thematic analysis then dives deep into how other industry themes have aided the expansion of Online Travel, the impact of COVID-19 on this theme, and how online travel has offered all players unique ways to drive inbound tourism.

Key Highlights

Online travel will continue to be one of the most important themes to meet the needs of the 21st century traveler. As more of the population become internet users, online platforms will become the preferred method for transactions to be carried out and for travelers to find information.

Industry themes such as the experience economy, last minute travel, social media, and travel apps have all accelerated the development of online travel. Companies have had to shift the focus away from a customer-centric, high street presence towards an asset light online only operation to remain current in the ever-competitive online space.

Social media has been identified as a key tool companies are utilizing to target Generation Hashtag. These platforms have given firms a wide variety of different options to promote, engage and inspire individuals. Meeting the needs of this generation will be one of the ways to remain competitive. As this generation are the most engaged with social media, investing in the right online campaigns is likely to return a higher ROI than traditional media forms.

Technology has begun to accelerate the usage of data within online travel. The online space has the beauty of collecting a magnitude of data on its customers. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data will all be as equally important in supporting companies to efficiently use the data they have to personalize the online travel experience.

COVID-19 has been one of the greatest challenges the travel industry has ever faced. With countries closing borders and heavy restrictions on travel, consumers have been unable to travel. COVID-19 has highlighted the need to reduce physical contact and consumers are now more likely than before to carry out a transaction online. As the trend of booking online continues, online travel firms will benefit greatly and it will most likely result in an ever greater boom within the sector.

Reasons to buy

Understand the current trends within the online travel landscape today and how these will escalate in the near future.

Assess how companies and DMOs are targeting the online travel sector and utilizing it to their advantage to aid brand awareness, increase revenues and drive visitor numbers.

Acknowledge both the advantages and disadvantages of online travel, identifying why it is critical to develop strategic actions that ensure the forward movement of travel businesses.

Discover recommendations that will help you service the next generation of travelers by establishing an online presence and effectively servicing the market in the right way.

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.

All across the travel and tourism supply chain including DMO’s now have an opportunity to capitalize on the online travel market and there are notable examples of this. Therefore, all should buy this report to fully understand how this theme will continue to be a key theme in the future travel landscape.

Companies mentioned

Airbnb, American Airlines, Booking Holdings, Carnival Corporation, easyJet, Expedia Group, Hays Travel, Hilton, Hyatt Hotels, Intrepid Travel, Intrepid Travel, KLM, Lastminute.com, Mariott International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Thomas Cook, TUI, Wizz Air.

Table of Contents


Executive Summary


Thematic briefing


Impact on Travel and Tourism

Value Chain


Sector scorecards


Further reading

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