European Online Travel to Grow, Led by Hotels

The European online travel market is expected to grow 10 percent in 2010, as the overall travel market begins a modest recovery, according to PhoCusWright Inc., in its soon-to-be-released report, PhoCusWright's European Online Travel Overview Sixth Edition. Following an 11 percent decline in 2009, the total European travel market is projected to grow 2 percent in 2010.

"For travelers who may have been hesitant to book online, the recession provided the extra push they needed," says Carroll Rheem, director, research at PhoCusWright. "Deal seekers turned to the Internet, and online travel agencies in particular, to find affordable options."

The European online travel market managed to inch upwards in 2009, increasing 1 percent as the overall travel market suffered. The buoyancy of the online market is due largely to the strength of the online travel agency channel, which grew in 2009, while supplier websites slipped.

"Hotel bookings are fueling online travel agency growth in Europe, with brands like Priceline's maintaining extraordinarily high growth rates," adds Rheem. Online travel agency bookings are on track for strong double-digit growth in 2010.

Macroeconomic factors have driven sluggish growth in the European travel market overall, with air travel restrictions spurred by volcanic ash from Iceland creating an additional setback to recovery.

The outlook for 2010 and beyond varies for each regional market and industry segment and PhoCusWright's European Online Travel Overview Sixth Edition is a comprehensive overview of the European online travel market, with detailed analysis of France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia.

The report provides market sizing and forecasting through 2012 for all major travel segments (airlines, hotels, car rental, tour operators, rail and cruise).


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