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Online Travel in Australia: Will Meta Measure Up?

Online Travel in Australia: Will Meta Measure Up?

Travel is one of Australia’s most popular Internet categories, and the country’s online travel penetration rate is the highest in all of Asia Pacific. Yet within the category, there is great disparity in the amount of traffic that different types of travel websites attract. Despite the strength of comparison-shopping sites overall, metasearch sites still play a relatively small role in the Australian online travel market.

According to PhoCusWright’s Australian Online Travel Traffic Report, created in partnership with global digital intelligence provider comScore, metasearch sites accounted for just 4% of all travel category visitors in 2010, compared to 31% for online travel agencies (OTAs). The strong presence of local (and some global) OTAs, along with limited domestic air carriers, has inhibited the growth of Australia’s metasearch category. Kayak was Australia’s leading metasearch player in 4Q10, and was also one of the few metasearch sites to show year-over-year growth from 2009.

“With a relatively contained domestic air market and a handful of major carriers, Australia’s metasearch segment has not yet taken off the way it has in the U.S., Europe and other APAC markets such as China,” says Douglas Quinby, senior director, research at PhoCusWright. “Our study with partner comScore explores the distinct dynamics of Australia’s online travel landscape, examining how Australians shop for travel across metasearch sites, online travel agencies, supplier websites, destination guides and reviews and more.”

PhoCusWright’s Australian Online Travel Traffic Report analyzes traffic volume, growth, cross-visitation and source/loss patterns across key travel subcategories, including metasearch sites, online travel agencies, airlines, hotels, destination guides, traveler review websites and more. Key topics include:

Traffic to travel website categories for the 15-month period from 4Q09 – 4Q10, including:
*  Online travel agencies (OTAs)
*  Airlines
*  Hotels
*  Metasearch
*  Travel guides and traveler reviews
*  Travel website rankings within each travel category, including traffic and unique visitor growth
*  Segment-specific comparison of traffic to supplier websites versus OTAs
*  In-depth analysis of key online players, including cross-visitation, source and loss traffic


Australia’s dynamic online travel market is poised for strong double-digit growth over the next several years. PhoCusWright’s Australian Online Travel Traffic Report, a Global and Asia Pacific Research Edition publication, helps travel companies understand and unleash the potential of this vital Asia Pacific market. Purchase online today for US$695.