IDC Forecasts Strong Growth in eCommerce for Travel Industry

The travel industry and the Internet make a prosperous pair. According to IDC, online sales of airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel reservations make the travel industry one of the strongest ecommerce markets in existence today.
“The ease of substituting one remote channel for another and the lack of need for physical fulfillment make the travel industry ideal for ecommerce,” said Joshua Friedman, senior research analyst for IDC`s eTravel program.
The airline industry represents the largest segment of the etravel industry. IDC estimates U.S. online airline ticket sales alone soared past $7 billion last year and will climb to much higher altitudes in the next few years. U.S. online hotel and motel sales were well above $2 billion in 2000, and U.S. online car rentals will pass the billion-dollar mark this year.
The biggest factor in stimulating online travel sales will be Web sites designed to meet consumer needs. “The travel industry must improve its understanding of the consumers` booking habits and change their sites to address consumer sales,” Friedman said.
IDC believes strong sales in one segment of the etravel industry will ultimately lead to stronger sales in the other segments.
“There is a synergy among online travel industry components,” Friedman said. “Car rental, airline, and hotel online sales will all feed off each other.”