The European travel market is booming (and not just because summer is approaching). The market continues to reach new highs and with a staggering revenue of €264 billion (£213bn) in 2015 – in comparison to the previous year's record of €251 billion (202bn) – it is clear to see why everyone wants in.
In store or online?
Lorraine Sileo, senior vice president of research for Phocuswright, states that these projections are expected to continue to rise, as more and more Europeans use their smartphones and favourite digital channels to book their next holiday.
While the estimated 5% growth over 2015 is predicted to slow to 3% rate per annum until it reaches the €282 billion (£227BN) mark in 2017, growth in the online travel market (OTM) continues to exceed expectations.
After an unbelievable 13% jump in 2015, the OTM is projected grow at incredible 8% through to 2017. Coupled with Europe surpassing the US and the rest of the world in terms of online adoption, online travel agents (OTAs) and suppliers will have to race to keep up in this fight for market share supremacy.
Studies have indicated that in 2015, 47% of travel revenue in Europe was booked online, in comparison to the US's 45%, 31% in Asia Pacific and 23% in Latin America.
This year is already set to be an even bigger year as Europe races to its next record breaking milestone, aiming to have half of all gross bookings made via online channels.
Sileo believes that Germany, Italy and Spain will lead this increase in online adoption, because "consumers in those countries avail of improved website and mobile experiences from suppliers and OTAs." By 2017, OTAs are predicted to comprise almost a quarter of the total travel market, worth a whopping €35 billion (£28bn).
Overall European internet adoption is difficult to estimate due to the diversity of Europe itself. Adoption rates and travel supplier's willingness to invest and develop their technological tools varies greatly, although the UK and Scandinavia continue to forge ahead in consumer adoption.
Far from a passing trend, being mobile-ready is increasingly essential for businesses that want to continue to grow. Offline retailers are increasingly mindful of the threat from OTAs and are "acknowledging technology's power to influence consumer behaviour" – and so they should be.
As more of our lives exist in the digital realm, it is of the upmost importance to keep up with technology and where the crowd is moving. Hence, an increasing number of suppliers are now investing heavily in online functionality and user experience.
Luckily, for the unsure supplier, we work in exactly that. Whether you are looking to make your website multilingual, iron out the kinks in your distribution and booking or simply want to give your website a much needed re-vamp, Digital Trip can provide you with the technology you need to connect with your customers and expand your business.