Five Online Travel Predictions for Europe in 2010

22 December 2009

Sherman, Conn. USA — Europe may still be experiencing the effects of the recession, but online travel continues its upward march across the continent's diverse and complex markets, according to travel industry research authority, PhoCusWright Inc. Changes in the economy and the travel industry have driven significant shifts in how consumers shop for and purchase travel. PhoCusWright's European Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition analyzes the dynamics of online and offline travel distribution across Europe's major travel markets.

Here are five predictions for the European online travel market in 2010 from the new report:

1. Online travel will account for more than one-third of the total European travel market.
While the total European travel market experiences a double-digit decline, online leisure and unmanaged business travel will in fact grow slightly in 2009. As effects of the recession linger into next year, consumers are increasingly shopping online for better deals. Online penetration will surge from 28% in 2008 to 34% by 2010.

2. Priceline could become the largest pan-European online travel agency (OTA).
Long in last place among the big four global OTAs (Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity being the other three), Priceline has gained ground dramatically since the onset of the recession and especially through the success of its main European acquisition, Amid Orbitz' stumbles and Expedia's catch-up play with Venere, Priceline is poised to become the number two OTA globally and quite possibly the largest OTA in Europe (although Expedia may have something to say about that…).

3. Metasearch will make it in Europe—finally.
The highly fragmented European online travel shopping landscape—among OTAs and suppliers—could prove fertile ground for metasearch. Uptake of meta in Europe has lagged behind the U.S., but the growing incidence of online shopping is driving more consumers to visit metasearch sites when they plan their travel.

4. Germany gains ground amid the recession.
The lumbering giant of Europe's online travel market is picking up plenty of regional market share. The country's strong cultural affinity for travel is helping prop up demand as other European markets falter. Germany's share of the European online travel market will jump from 17% in 2008 to 20% by 2011. Gute Reise!

5. As larger markets mature, all eyes turn south—and east.
The largest European travel market, the U.K., has over 40% online penetration. France and Germany are catching up. Now that the low-hanging fruit is gone, the online travel industry is looking to opportunities in less penetrated Southern and Eastern European markets. Emerging markets like Poland offer perhaps the most promising opportunities for growth.

PhoCusWright's European Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition and individual market reports for France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, and the U.K. provide data and analysis essential to understanding the dynamics of your market and forecasting the performance of your business. These reports are also included in PhoCusWright's European Edition, an annual subscription-based research service providing travel industry data and analysis for Europe.

About PhoCusWright Inc.
PhoCusWright is the travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, PhoCusWright fosters smart strategic planning and tactical decision-making.

PhoCusWright delivers qualitative and quantitative research on the evolving dynamics that influence travel, tourism and hospitality distribution. Our marketplace intelligence is the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, trends, analysis and consumer travel planning behavior. Every day around the world, senior executives, marketers, strategists and research professionals from all segments of the industry value chain use PhoCusWright research for competitive advantage.

To complement its primary research in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia, PhoCusWright produces several high-profile conferences and trade shows in the U.S. and Germany, and partners with conferences in Canada, China and Singapore. Industry leaders and company analysts bring this intelligence to life by debating issues, sharing ideas and defining the ever-evolving reality of travel commerce.

The company is headquartered in the United States with Asia Pacific operations based in India and local analysts on five continents.

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