A leading secondary market research firm, yStats.com, based in Hamburg, Germany, has released a new report titled “Global Online Travel Market 2016”. According to the research findings in this publication, mobile is seen as the main growth driver of the digital travel market, while peer-to-peer sharing services are the main disruptors.
Online travel sales are expanding worldwide and are expected to approach a 50% milestone in share of total travel sales in 2016, according to a forecast cited in the new publication from yStats.com. Mobile sales are showing the highest growth rate, as more consumers, especially Millennials, turn to their smartphones and tablets to make travel reservations.
North America is forecasted to remain the world’s largest online travel market until 2017, when it is predicted to be surpassed by a faster growing Asia-Pacific region. This trend is reflected in a ranking of the top 5 online travel agencies, revealed in the yStats.com report, which shows that China-based Ctrip.com is the fastest growing among them, but US-based Expedia and The Priceline Group still occupy the first two ranks. Accommodation sharing portal Airbnb made its way to the fourth rank, signaling the growing strength of the peer-to-peer services in the travel sector. The growth of Airbnb and other P2P accommodation sharing platforms, along with transportation sharing portals such as Uber and Lyft are particularly popular with the Millennial generation and provide a challenge to the traditional hotel and transportation sectors.
The online share of regional travel sales in Europe is above the global average, but there are great differences on the country level, as the yStats.com report shows. While the UK, Germany and France have online travel sales in double-digit billion dollar range, Eastern European markets have more modest market volumes, but also a higher growth potential. Similar to Eastern Europe, the emerging markets of Latin America, Middle East and Africa await a boost in online travel sales, as Internet penetration, smartphone ownership and the traveler’s propensity to shop online rise.