A report published by Carl H. Marcussen, PhD, Senior Researcher, Research Centre of Bornholm, Denmark, shows that the European online travel market was valued at US$2.2 billion as opposed to US$2.9 billion estimated by Phocuswright.
Marcus is also less optimistic about the growth of the European market estimating that the that the European online travel market will not as PhoCusWright estimates “triple in size” by 2002 but will grow by 250% to a US$5.6 billion.
The discrepancy could be explained by Marcus not taking into account the “telephone sales of services researched on the Net” This is a huge number. I could not find any facts relating to Europe but the TIA estimated that in the USA, in 2000, 59 million people used the web for researching travel but only 25 million people actually booked online. The full report can be found at www.rcb.dk/uk/staff/chm/trends.htm A brief synopsis is as follows: “Abstract (summary)
Online travel sales were $2.2 billion in the European market in the year 2000 - or 1.2% of the market (up from 0.45% in 1999). A further increase of about 80% during the year 2001 to about $4 billion may be expected (2.1% of the market). Intermediaries accounted for 51% of online sales in the European market in 2000. For the different types of services, Internet sales accounted for the following percentages of the market in the year 2000, with 2001 projections mentioned in brackets: Airtravel: 2.12% (3.79%); Hotels: 0.85% (1.42%); Package tours: 0.80% (1.32%); Other travel and tourism services: 0.38% (0.70%). Total: 1.2% (2.1%). In the year 2000 the breakdown of the market by type of service was as follows, with projections for 2001 mentioned in brackets: Airtravel: 60% (61%); Hotels 17% (17%); Package tours 18% (17%); Other services: 5% (5%). Airtravel increased its share from 52 to 60% during 2000, and may gain one further percentage point during 2001. This significant trend is attributable to no-frills airlines, which became an important factor in the European online travel market during 1999, and increased their relative importance in the online travel market further during the year 2000. Also online agents contributed to this development. The UK and Germany are the largest online travel markets in Europe constituting 30% and 26% in 2000, respectively.”