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Travel Agency Statistics 2019

 

Explore the Online Travel Market, Including Growth, Technology & The Future of Online Travel Bookings

 

Let’s begin with a statistic right away: Online travel bookings are expected to hit $817 billion by 2020. That’s huge!


Travellers today are online and mobile savvy more than ever before. What they require is always evolving, and it’s therefore important to understand how researching and planning travel is done. That, in turn, has changed the expectations consumers have of travel websites.

 

Consumers aren’t ready to leave their laptop in the drawer, with mobile booking conversions still much lower than the trusted desktop. Travel sites need to let their mobile customers feel they’re getting the latest information and the best price available convincing them that heading to the desktop isn’t necessary.


Here we present some crucial stats on online travel bookings, including how sustainability is driving hotel decisions, how global usage of mobile continues to grow, how travel apps buck the trend and reveal Google trends that demonstrate the change in consumer behaviour particularly with last-minute travel bookings.

 

KEY TRAVEL AGENCY STATISTICS:

 

Online travel bookings expected to hit $817 billion by 2020.

700 million people will be booking their hotel rooms online by 2023.

70% of travellers research travel on their smartphone.

Online digital travel sales in 2019 are worth a massive $755 billion worldwide.

83% of US adults now prefer to book their travel online.

33% of consumers say they've used a virtual travel assistant to help organise and plan their next trip.

Google data shows that travel related searches including ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ have grown by more than 519% in the past five years.

45% of UK travellers feel comfortable researching, planning and booking trips to new destinations using only their mobile.

72% of mobile bookings happen within 48 hours of last-minute Google searches.

148.3 million travel bookings are completed online every year.

Online travel agencies offering customers ‘a one stop shop’ are expected to own 41% of the online digital travel market by 2020.

Millennials prefer to book hotels via travel agencies but 52% browse the hotel’s website for more information.

82% of all travel bookings in 2018 were made online via a mobile app or website, without human interaction.

 

ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKING MARKET SIZE STATISTICS

What percentage of travel bookings are made online?

82% of all travel bookings in 2018 were made online via a mobile app or website, without human interaction.

148.3 million travel bookings are completed online every year.

Online travel market projection of $756 billion in 2019 is expected to grow to $817 billion by 2020.

15.4% growth in worldwide online travel sales and 10.3% growth in online hotel bookings.

The travel industry across the globe is worth a massive $1.2 Trillion.

Monday is the most popular day for travellers to purchase their travel vs. Saturday which is the quietest day.

The online travel market forecast of $756 billion during 2019 is anticipated to grow by 8% and hit $817 billion by 2020. Overall the online travel booking market share makes up 63% of the $1.2 trillion the travel industry generates every year. Most people (82%) booking travel online are doing so using a website or mobile app and prefer to make that booking on a Monday.

 

Sources: Google Trends, Statista, Salecycle.com, Fatbit.com,

ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKING TRENDS

How are consumers using online travel booking services?

Google data shows that travel related searches which include ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ have grown by more than 519% in the past five years.

Mobile conversion for travel bookings is just 0.7% vs. 2.4% for desktop bookings.

80.8% of customers abandon their booking on travel websites.

Hotels’ average online conversion rate is 2.2%.

Online travel bookings make up 27% of all online spending ($2.8 trillion online internet spend vs. $7.5 billion on booking travel)

 

More and more consumers are booking travel last-minute using their smartphone, with Google trends showing a massive 519% increase in travel related searches whereby people are including the phrases “tonight” and “today”. However, industry statistics show that hotels and holiday companies are finding it difficult to convert those customers searching via a mobile device. Conversion rates on mobile are barely achieving 0.7% whereas desktop travel bookers are converting at around 2.4%, perhaps a missed opportunity within the market. Travel sites in general have the highest cart abandonment rate across five key sectors include retail.

 

A massive $2.8 trillion is spent online every year vs. $7.5 billion from those booking their travel online.  Meaning that only 0.27% of the worlds online spending is generated from the travel industry.

 

Sources: Google Trends, Jersey Island Holidays, Trekksoft, Travel Daily News, Statista,

ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKING TRENDS - RESEARCH & PLANNING

How long do customers spend researching travel online before booking?

90% of people do all their holiday research online, whereas only 80% of people book online.

51% of US travellers said that once they decide on a trip, they will spend less than one week to research.

Google search data shows that flights and hotels will be booked in advance of 12 weeks.

Within the 12 weeks prior to a trip, search trends suggest that experiences are a travellers main focus.

31% of hotel and accommodation searches began on search engines in 2018, this was an increase of 23% in 2017.

23% of travellers going on a trip for leisure are confident they’ll find the same flight or hotel details on mobile compared to desktop.

Booking.com had 697 million visits to its website in July 2019.

TripAdvisor had 224 million visits to its website in July 2019.

80% of all travellers spend up to 4 weeks on TripAdvisor reading other traveller reviews and researching a destination.

 

With improvements in technology, and people’s lives moving at such a quick pace, it’s no surprise that over half the market spends just one week researching their holiday. Meanwhile, the other half (51%) will have booked their hotels and flights in advance of 3 months before their travel date.  There is still some reluctance to use smartphones for holiday or travel research as evidenced by a Google survey. The survey found only 23% of leisure travellers were happy that they would find the same hotel or flight deals using a mobile compared to desktop. 

 

In the travel industry, TripAdvisor is now considered one of the most influential travel booking websites. TripAdvisor claims 80% of all travellers will spend around four weeks researching a destination, taking the time to read reviews and hunting for unique travel tips to make their trip even better before booking.  Given that 90% of travellers say they are influenced by reviews online, it’s clear that TripAdvisor still leads the way. 

 

Sources: Trekksoft, Travel Daily News Statista, Jersey Island Holidays,

 

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL BOOKING STATISTICS

How does going green influence online booking behaviour?

55% of travellers across the world are now more determined to make sustainable travel choices than they were previously.

70% of global travellers would be more likely to book their accommodation if they knew it was eco-friendly.

Social media has hugely helped travellers to become more aware of the impact that travel has on the environment. This education has resulted in over half of travellers (55%) across the world now making more sustainable travel choices. 

 

A sustainability travel report commissioned by Booking.com shows that despite travellers trying to make more sustainable travel choices than they were perhaps a year ago, lack of knowledge and sustainably viable options make this more difficult to put into practice.  Holiday companies should certainly look to maximise this consumer behaviour and highlight green credentials on their websites, considering 70% of travellers say they would be more likely to book a hotel if they knew it was environmentally friendly.

 

Sources: Salecycle.com, Fatbit.com, Jersey Island Holidays, Trekksoft, Statista,

ONLINE TRAVEL REVIEW STATISTICS

How many people read travel reviews & why are they important to online travel bookings?

80% of customers who get asked to leave a review will do so.

22% of people who write an online review will do so without being asked.

54% of guests have experience in writing and submitting one review in the last year.

95% of traveller reviews on average will be positive.

72% of new customers won’t book until they have spent time reading other traveller reviews.

15% of customers don’t trust businesses without reviews.

6% of consumers don’t trust online customer reviews.

Google users are most active & contribute to 57.5% of all reviews online.

 

Young travellers, particularly Gen-Z and Millennials heavily trust and rely on online reviews.  Hotels, agents and holiday companies who are making the effort to maintain a positive digital presence will be rewarded.  Businesses spend billions on advertising every year, but the opinion of other customers is worth much more.  Review scores can help guide the purchase decision of most travellers. 

 

Travellers are now frequently judging a company’s reputation based purely on their online presence.  This is influencing booking decisions from those travellers born in the technological era.  The bestselling products online will have a 4.2 to 4.7 review rating, and local business have on average 39 Google reviews. 

 

Sources: Travel Daily News Statista, Salecycle.com, Fatbit.com

GROWTH STATISTICS IN ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKINGS

How many people book travel online?

148.3 million travel bookings are made by people online every year.

By 2020 sales will hit $817 billion a year.

57% market growth by 2020.

10% market growth on average every year since 2014 to 2019.

14% was the largest market growth from 2016 to 2017.

6% was the lowest market growth year on year between 2014 to 2015.

The total number of online travel bookings made each year is around 148.3 million, which generates sales of around $755 billion per annum in 2019.  The online travel sector continues to see substantial year on year growth since 2014, with an average of 10% increase every year.  By 2020 it’s expected that online sales will rise above the $800 billion mark, meaning there will have been a massive 57% market growth increase since 2014. This demonstrates how crucial it is for holiday companies to stay ahead of the game and continue to meet customer requirements when it comes to booking their travel online.

 

Sources: Jersey Island Holidays, Trekksoft, Travel Daily News, Statista, Salecycle.com,

MOBILE TRAVEL BOOKING STATISTICS

What percentage of people book travel on mobile?

48% of US smartphone users are happy to plan, research and book their trip to a new destination just using their mobile phone.

87% of travellers rated the mobile experience on Booking.com number one for experience, in the travel industry.

33% of all French travellers book using a mobile device, this drops to 15% in Germany, 21% in the US, and 25% in the UK.

55% of travellers believe they must review many travel resources before booking.

63% prefer to read reviews, view pictures and book online all on the same website.

60% rise of mobile travel bookings is expected by 2021.

Mobile travel booking statistics show that 21% of US travellers book their travel with a smartphone.  Mobile has gradually increased its market share of overall online travel bookings, but almost 80% still prefer to book using a desktop or laptop.  It’s clear that most people research on their mobile to find information and prices, but ultimately make the final booking on their desktop.  Mobile travel websites often lack the essential elements which consumers need for them to book in confidence. The lack of trust could be down to concerns over finding the best price; searching via a desktop or laptop allows consumers to compare all options in one place.

 

Sources: Salecycle.com, Fatbit.com,

ONLINE BOOKING STATISTICS – APPS VS MOBILE

How many people use apps vs. mobile to book travel?

27% of users prefer to book using a mobile app (if the company has one).

39% of travellers preferred how quick it was to book via an app.

30% enjoyed the extra functionality apps provided, combined with receiving useful updates.

79% liked price alert notifications which added value to their booking experience.

Travel companies with an app will get 60% of their bookings via mobile devices, up 41% from last year.

50% of all travel apps are deleted within a month of being downloaded.

Travellers enjoy the speed and extra functionality that apps provide and the added value they offer consumers when planning trips. Particularly with regard to receiving price notifications, 79% of people liked this feature the most when using travel apps.

 

Hotels and agents shouldn’t underestimate the importance of travel app statistics.  It has been evidenced that if a travel app doesn’t deliver on a positive user experience and an ease in helping the user find what they are looking for, then their app will wind up being part of the 50% which get deleted within the first month of being downloaded. 

 

Sources: Trekksoft, Travel Daily News Statista, Fatbit.com,

ONLINE BOOKING VS TRAVEL AGENCY STATISTICS

How many people book travel online vs travel agencies?

One-stop-shop online travel agencies allowing customers to research, book and manage their trips in one place are expected to own 41% of the online digital travel market by 2020.

In 2018 direct online bookings were 66.7%, with agents and affiliates at 24.3% and marketplace bookings at 9.1%.

34% of millennial travellers are increasingly turning to travel agents.

60% of millennials are happy to pay more for a travel agent’s advice.

On average travel agents save their customers $452 and 4 hours of planning per trip. 

Two thirds of the travel market (66%) continue to book their travel online, with only 24.3% opting to use travel agencies to provide them with a holiday booking service. This is despite research by the American Society of Travel Agents demonstrating travel agents on average save their customers $452 and 4 hours of time planning per trip. 

 

Interestingly millennials are seeing the benefits of using travel agents, with 34% of them happy to book via an agent. 60% of millennials are happy to pay more for the knowledge travel agents provide and the advice they offer about a destination. They feel this adds value to their travel experience. These travellers are looking for the most memorable experiences, and agents who position themselves as market experts, particularly those who specialise in a specific niche, are being used more often. By offering insider information on the destinations, best hotels and attractions that will create the experience desired, these online agents are starting to carve a bigger market share. 

 

SOURCES Trekksoft, Travel Daily News Statista, Jersey Island Holidays, Salecycle.com, Fatbit.com,

FUTURE OF ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKINGS

What does the future look like for the online travel industry?

30% of hotel guests spend more when they’ve used a Chatbot vs. those who didn’t.

67% of high-income travellers would prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than a better hotel room.

69% of travellers have used voice search while researching a trip.

77% of airports and 71% of airlines will be introducing R&D in biometric ID management in the next five years.

73% of travellers intend to stay in an environmentally friendly accommodation in the next year.

ChatBot technology is ever advancing and will become a prominent part of future travel bookings. Those who have experimented with it have seen some promising results. The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas found that guests who interacted and text its Chatbot, Rose, spent up to 30% more money than those who didn’t.   

 

Going green has become more important to consumers than ever before and as people become more aware, then this trend will become increasingly important for travel and accommodation providers.  74% of all travellers intend to stay in eco-friendly accommodation in the next year.  Hotels need to react to environmental changes and actively inform consumers what they are doing to make a difference.

 

Customers want personalised booking experiences., Top hotel brands like Hilton have responded with their ‘Choose Your Own Room feature’ while IHG and Marriott look to take this one stage further to make it possible for guests to pick and choose new specific room attributes they would like to have taking customisation to a whole new level.

 

SOURCES Salecycle.com,