Europe stands at a critical position for online travel agencies. According to studies, traveling to countries like the United Kingdom, France and Germany rank first in the list of leisure expenses. Their travel rates were about 70 percent for the year 2013. These rates averaged 60 percent in 2012, which indicates the rapid increase in demand.
Since European tourists travel almost anywhere in the world and considering that they have a high purchasing power, this market is critical for any agency no matter where they operate.
Let’s check how much European tourists spend for their travel, their booking and mobile device usage rates.
There is an increase in the booking numbers and travel expenses of three large European countries, particularly of Germany. The United Kingdom and Germany constitute 40 percent of all bookings made in Europe. Here are three large European countries according to their travel expenses in 2012 and the increase compared to last year:
- Germany – 57 billion Euro (5 Percent Increase)
- United Kingdom – 49 billion Euro (5 Percent Increase)
- France – 44 billion Euro (6 Percent Increase)
- The United Kingdom constitutes 53 percent of online bookings with a 26-billion Euro share. It is followed by Germany with a 20 percent share that corresponds to 20 billion Euros.
- Online package tours are generally preferred by British and French tourists. The package tour preference rate for the British is 44 percent, while it is 25 percent for the French.
- The 3 most effective channels in general when browsing the Internet:
- Interactive maps (76 percent)
- Comments on sites like TripAdvisor (69 percent)
- Travel photos of other users (62 percent)
The popularity of OTAs
Another outstanding suggestion of the study is a point of concern for online travel agencies: Europeans have a higher rate for using OTAs than for metasearch rates. Here are the figures:
United Kingdom: 48 percent
France 38 percent
Germany 47 percent
United Kingdom: 35 percent
France 38 percent
Germany 42 percent
Booking through mobile devices
In 2011, the rate of bookings made through smartphones and tablets were about 3 percent. This rate increased up to 6 percent in 2012. Studies suggest that it will reach up to 20 percent by 2015. Compatibility with this technology is important for your property since the number of its users is increasing each day. Although users may not book right away, they might visit your online agency’s website through mobile devices. You should be especially well prepared for this user habit that is increasingly becoming common among the next-generation guests.
All these figures show how Europe is important as a market for online travel agencies. If you do not want to miss this great potential, carry your property to the Internet with HotelRunner and start earning now.