Online bookings vary widely across Europe, says PhoCusWright

The UK and Scandinavia rate as Europe’s most mature online markets, with 44% and 41% respectively of gross bookings online respectively in 2008. These advanced markets are now proving ready for slower adopters like tour operators and corporate travel management companies to move online in large numbers, according to PhoCusWright.

In markets such as Italy and Spain, however, the influential think tank says penetration will remain below 20% in 2008. These regions will continue to afford an opportunity for both supplier Web sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) to grow share in 2008 and beyond.
PhoCusWright has just released market reports detailing online travel penetration and projected growth in each of six markets have just been released. Each report is an in-depth overview of a region’s travel market providing achieved performance figures for 2006-2007 and projections through 2010. Each report also contains the broader European overview.

Highlights include:

French travellers, once famous for their month-long holidays, are shortening their breaks to make room for multiple mini-vacations scattered throughout the year.


Germany is the worldwide leader in outbound tourism spend, and German consumers allocate a good portion of their disposable income to travel regardless of the economy.

Italian consumers currently prefer to book primarily offline. Only 14% of bookings will be completed online in 2008.

While Scandinavia makes up only a small part of the population in Europe, the region’s online travel penetration is high, with over a third of consumers buying travel online.

Spanish rail and hotels are poised for significant online growth in the next several years. Spain’s national rail provider is opening new major routes and has invested heavily in its Web site.
With the most mature online market in Europe, U.K. travel providers are struggling to lure the remaining share of customers online.
All six market reports are included in the full report.

PhoCusWright’s European Online Travel Overview Fourth Edition, a comprehensive view of online leisure/unmanaged business travel trends as well as the total travel market by segment and channel for Europe.