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Online Travel, 2022 Update – Thematic Research

Technology and digitization continue to revolutionize the travel industry as both consumers and companies embrace online travel. Companies have been able to utilize online platforms as a way of enabling transactions, promoting sources of information, as a key marketing tool, and to directly communicate with the end-user. COVID-19 has only accelerated the need for an online presence as the pandemic revealed the need to reduce physical contact and led to greater adoption of digital technologies for everyday tasks. The leading players in travel and tourism are those which have embraced digitalization and focused on developing a robust online presence. To differentiate and stay ahead of the competition, the true leaders are those which have recognized the importance of social media, and personalization and invested in technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, and travel apps. The most innovative and pioneering companies will have a workforce with a diverse and distinct set of skills to stay ahead in the online travel space.

This thematic research report takes an in-depth look at online travel. Firstly, the players section identifies some of the leading companies in online travel and categorizes their position in the value chain. After a thematic briefing, a trends section is then provided which describes both enterprise and consumer trends. An industry analysis is then provided which delves into market growth and forecast, globally and for the world’s largest online travel markets. In addition, use cases of the leading companies within the online travel theme are described and analyzed. Following this is a mergers and acquisitions section which features online travel partnerships. After a timeline which tells the story of the development of online travel in tourism and beyond, a value chain analysis is provided which looks at key industry leaders and laggards. Finally, the leading companies in the online travel theme are outlined, along with their competitive position and sector scorecards are delivered, showing how the different companies in each tourism sector compare in the theme of online travel.

“Within the online travel industry, there has been an increasing focus on personalization by online market players as loyalty to a particular brand is being replaced by a traveler’s loyalty to their own preferences. In addition, social media has become a strategic channel for marketing and customer service. Perhaps the demarking feature of online travel is the integration and use of the latest technologies, to the extent that some travel brands such as Airbnb and Trip.com refer to themselves primarily as technology companies. With this, big data, travel apps, artificial intelligence and machine learning play a major role in online travel companies’ strategies, with leading players investing heavily in these areas.” – Hannah Free – Travel & Tourism Analyst, GlobalData


This report provides an overview of online travel.

It identifies the need for online travel to engage with travelers and succeed in a highly fragmented and saturated marketplace.

This report provides a detailed industry analysis of online travel, discussing how it is being utilized across the travel and tourism value chain.

We highlight travel and tourism companies that are leading in the online travel theme, such as Booking Holdings, Trip.com Group, Expedia Group, Airbnb, Hilton and easyJet.

Key Highlights

Globally, travelers are increasingly online and more mobile savvy than ever before. In tandem, global online travel intermediary (online travel agents, tour operators and other providers) market value has experienced rapid growth (CAGR 2015-19: 9.3%). In 2019, global market value reached $592.5 billion, a 2.3% increase from the previous year. However, companies within the travel industry have faced, and continue to face, unprecedented challenges and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, as travel came to a virtual standstill, the global market value for online travel intermediaries declined by 60.1% YoY to $236.7 billion.

Looking ahead, the announcement and the roll-out of vaccines are expected to gradually increase consumer confidence and contribute to the easing of travel restrictions. Moreover, COVID-19 has accelerated the need for companies operating within the tourism and travel industry to adopt a digital strategy as the global pandemic highlighted the need to reduce physical contact and consumers are now more likely than before to carry out transactions online than in a physical store. As such, the online travel market value is expected to increase going forward, according to GlobalData forecasts. By 2025, market value is projected to reach $765.3 billion (CAGR 2021-25: 15.1%) as travelers increasingly switch to online travel intermediation over in-store travel agents.

Owing to the changing needs and demands of the modern traveler, travel booking has evolved from traditional high street stores with in-person travel agents to a highly fragmented online marketplace of travel products and suppliers. Companies have had to shift the focus away from a high street presence towards an asset light, online-only operation to remain current in the ever-competitive online space, which has been hastened by COVID-19. This trend will further accelerate as internet penetration grows worldwide and online platforms become the preferred method for transactions to be carried out and for travelers to find information.

Reasons to Buy

Understand the impact of online travel on the tourism industry, using use cases to help you understand how you can adapt and understand this theme.

Assess the strategies that companies are adopting to succeed in online travel.

Discover companies that are leading in the space.

To view real-world trends created by the adoption of online travel from across the travel & tourism space.

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.

Key Players

Booking Holdings, Expedia Group, Trip.com Group, eDreams ODIGEO, Airbnb, easyJet, Ryanair, Winding Tree, Thomas Cook, Hilton, TripAdvisor, Hyatt, Lastminute.com, MakeMyTrip, Marriott International

Table of Contents

| Contents

Executive Summary


Thematic Briefing


Industry Analysis

Value Chain


Sector Scorecards


Further Reading

| Our Thematic Research Methodology

| About GlobalData

| Contact Us


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