Online Travel Booking Statistics & Trends 2019
In a trillion dollar industry, travelers now expect personalized experiences when making their travel bookings and more and more are choosing to book online. It’s important for holiday companies to understand customer behaviors and requirements in order for them to stay ahead of the competition. Booking a holiday is one of the biggest online purchases the majority of people make in a year, meaning customers are spending up to 12 weeks researching what to book and can visit up to 38 websites before booking. This has resulted in more travelers making bookings on a mobile phone or travel app than ever before.
In our report we cover key statistics across the industry and highlight emerging trends.
Online Travel Booking Statistics
- The travel industry is worth a massive $1.2 Trillion
- The online 2019 travel market projection of $756 billion is expected to grow to $817 billion by 2020
- In 2018 digital travel sales worldwide hit $694 billion and $190.4 billion was from the US
- 15.4% growth in worldwide digital travel sales and 10.3% growth in hotel digital bookings
- 70% of holidays cost more than £1,500, with the remaining 30% costing more than £2,500.
- Most bookings come direct with 66.7% of total bookings, agents and affiliates account for 24.3%, with marketplace bookings contributing 9.1%
- Agent, affiliates and local tourist offices bookings increased from 17.5% to 24.3% in 2018
- By 2022 the worldwide market volume for online hotel bookings is likely to exceed $174 million
What do you want to know?
Market & Industry Trends
World travel market statistics show the travel industry to be worth around $1.2 trillion a year. Industry data shows continued year on year growth for the industry and online travel marketing statistics see a 10.4% increase in online bookings since 2018. By 2020 this will have grown by a further 8%, meaning online sales will hit the $817 billion mark.
What is the online travel industry worth a year?
- The travel industry is worth a massive $1.2 Trillion a year
- In 2019 the online travel market will be worth $756 billion
- $694 Billion of digital worldwide travel sales were made in 2018, a 10.4% increase year on year.
- In 2020 the online travel market is expected to grow to $817 billion.
- The online travel market in the US is worth $190.4 billion a year in sales
- 70% of holidays cost more than £1,500, with the remaining 30% costing more than £2,500.
One of the standout and most interesting travel market statistics we came across is that 70% of holidays cost more than £1,500 which makes it one of the biggest customer purchases consumers make each year. The most money is spent in the US compared to all other countries, as they spend $190.4 billion a year online in the travel market.
Agent Booking Trends
According to the latest survey findings reported by TrekkSoft, people are still happy to book via travel agencies, however the majority of travelers continue to book direct themselves online. The common question of what is the split between Travel agency vs online booking statistics still show a rounded 70/30 split in bookings. With the collapse of travel agent giant Thomas Cook it will be interesting to see how consumers look to book their travel in the future and online travel booking statistics will definitely be changing.
What percentage of people book online vs travel agencies?
- 15.4% growth during 2019 in worldwide digital travel sales and 10.3% growth in hotel digital bookings
- During 2018 direct online bookings was 66.7%, agents and affiliates was 24.3%, marketplace bookings just 9.1%
- In 2017 online direct bookings were 79.2%, agents and affiliates were 17.5%, marketplace bookings just 3.2%
- Agents, affiliates and local tourist offices bookings also increased from 17.5% to 24.3% in 2018
Affiliate websites still have a small percentage of market, but perhaps should be classed as that of direct bookings. As more often than not, the consumer has merely clicked on the first google result and clever affiliates have been able to manipulate the search rankings and make people believe they are booking direct.
Smartphone Booking Trends
The research we found shows that mobile travel booking statistics hasn’t changed much in recent years. More importantly the trend that travelers are still not confident to make their booking on a mobile is evidenced in the extremely low conversion rate of 0.7%. Interestingly those using a travel app are more likely to convert that on a mobile website.
What percentage of online travel booking is mobile?
- 82% of all travel bookings in 2018 were made online through a website or mobile app
- 48% of all smartphone users are happy to research, book and plan their whole trip to a new destination using just a mobile device
- 26% of travel searches now occur from a mobile device
- 69% of travelers now say they are happy to use voice search when they plan a trip
- Cosmopolitan Las Vegas hotel found that guests who text its chatbot ‘Rose’ spent almost 30% more than those who don’t
- 72% of all mobile bookings made by travelers happen within a 48-hour window.
- Online conversion rates for desktop bookings are 2.4%, but on a smartphone they are just 0.7%
- App conversion rates are five times higher than mobile website booking.
Consumers still like to spend time researching their trip using a mobile, find it useful interacting with chat bots, and have begun using voice searches to help them find the information they are seeking to book the best trip possible.
Smartphone travel App Trends
Travel app usage statistics show that apps remain the ‘go to’ for traveler bookings and engagement. Customers enjoy the speed apps bring to their experience, the enhanced functionality and all of which can be done offline.
Businesses should understand the importance of their travel app statistics because if they get it wrong and don’t meet customer expectation the big headline statistic is that 50% of all travel apps get deleted after one month of being downloaded. It’s crucial you ensure you provide customers with apps that fulfil their requirements and make their life easier!
How do people use travel apps for booking their travel?
- 50% of all travel apps are deleted after one month of installing them
- 39% of users like the speed of apps
- 30% of users highlight the app functionality, boarding passes, check-in, passbook as their reason for using an app
- 28% use travel apps for their live notifications, 79% enjoyed status updates on their travel, 76% price changes, 68% sales, 68% reminders, 56% loyalty point updates
- 26% prefer using a travel app because it will work offline
- 21% of users believe the travel apps offer better user experience
- 17% of app users prefer that it stores their preferences
- 11% used a travel app because they were part of a loyalty or rewards program
Rather than apps showing signs of ‘app fatigue’ that has been seen across other industries, travel apps are become increasingly more popular with downloads on the rise. In fact 82% of travelers have said they will be downloading more travel apps than they have done before.
Hotel Booking Trends
Online hotel booking statistics in 2019 show that by 2020 a massive $174 million will be spent on the internet. And by 2023, hotel booking statistics will grow to 700 million people making an online hotel booking. Its only a matter of time before the 43% of customers who aren’t booking their hotel rooms online make the transition.
Mobile hotel booking statistics show that travelers from the Middle East have become more mobile savvy, with 53% of them booking via their mobile. Compared to North America where only 28% of travelers use their mobile to make a booking.
How many people book hotels online?
- Online hotel bookings is estimated to exceed $174 million across the globe in 2022
- 700 million people will make a hotel room booking online by 2023
- $1.6 trillion was spent across the hotel industry bookings in 2017
- 57% of all hotel bookings are now made online
- 33% of US leisure travelers booked to stay in privately owned accommodation
- 67% of all higher income travelers said they’d rather spend their money on experiences over a better hotel room
- 62% of guests that made a complaint said staff being unfriendly was the most frustrating part of their stay
- Google data shows that travelers book their flights and hotels on average 12 weeks ahead of their travel date. Under 12 weeks, Google data shows the focus moves to searches around holiday experiences
- Middle East travelers are most mobile savvy with a huge 53% booking via a mobile. In Asia, the figure is around 45%
- 33% of European travelers book their hotels and travel using a mobile device. In North America this is 28% of travelers
Interestingly, looking at Google trends travelers are now making hotel bookings much later than in the past with statistics showing travelers book around 12 weeks prior to a trip. This market behavior will have been helped by large hotel websites that have dominated the internet in the last 5 years. Booking.com and Hotels.com have allowed customers access to great deals across the world.
Hotel Booking For Businesses
We’ve done a lot of research and have got some top tips for hotels to improve their online booking statistics.
Firstly, confidence is extremely important on a mobile – so tell customers they’re getting the best deal. Reassure them throughout the booking journey, and provide them with information they want to know about the hotel. Give your guests a best price guarantee. Most importantly create a smooth booking experience that doesn’t frustrate customers. According to Google, 54% of leisure travelers say usability issues on mobile is the reason they book elsewhere.
Following their stay, ensure that all customers who have had a good stay and don’t have any complaints are emailed after to request an online review.
What should hotels be doing to improve bookings?
- 80% of customers who are asked to leave a review will do so
- 54% of total guests have written and submitted a review during the last 12 months
- Approximately 93% of customers leave positive reviews
- 90% of consumers say online reviews impact buying decisions
With 80% of customers who are asked willing to provide a review, the ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ philosophy is clearly evident here. Get this wrong and you’ll be limiting the number of future customers looking to stay at your hotel. Why? Because 90% of all travelers say they are influenced to book by online reviews.
User Behavior In Travel Booking
According to travel booking trends 2019, Monday has become the most important day for bookings across the travel and hotel industry. With most making bookings whilst sat at their work desks, because the busiest booking time is around 10am. With customers booking 24/7 hotels and travel agents need to ensure they have their booking website working around the clock.
What are the popular days for booking hotels and travel?
- Monday is the busiest day for customers to book travel across the internet, while
- Saturday and Sunday are the quietest days for bookings
- 10am is the busiest time for bookings
- 6am is the quietest time for customers to book online
- 90% of travelers expect a personalized online experience when they book their travel
- Customers who book their experiences ahead of their travel and hotel spend 47% more on accommodation and 81% more on travel than those who wait to book locally
The industry needs to ensure they understand booking behavior trends, as this can hugely help convert more ‘lookers into bookers’. Almost all travelers (90%) now expect a personalized online booking experience, and will be put off booking if the website doesn’t meet their expectations.
Travel Website Trends
TripAdvisor is now deemed to be the most influential travel booking website across the world, with 80% of all travelers spending up to 4 weeks researching a destination, reading reviews of others and looking for travel tips. And with 90% of travelers saying they are influenced by online reviews its hardly surprising that TripAdvisor still leads the way for booking sites.
Other websites that rate highly amongst travelers include Booking, Kayak and eDreams mostly for their website speed and making sure they stay ahead of the competition when it comes to usability.
What are the best online travel booking sites?
- Tripadvisor has over 325 million users each month which it uses to influence online travel booking behavior
- 80% of Tripadvisor users, spend four weeks researching prior to making a purchase
- Booking.com is officially the most used travel site across the world, with over 443 million active visitors each month
- Top 5 travel websites for speed and usability are Kayak, Booking, eDreams, Trainline and Lastminute
- 66.7% of travel bookings are made directly using the hotels own website
- 80% of all holiday packages are now booked online
- For 60% of those booking a holiday online, it will be their most expensive online purchase
Building the best online travel booking website has its rewards with statistics showing that 80% of all holiday packages are now made online.
Travel Planning Trends
Travelers are becoming much more savvy when it comes to planning their travel online, with 51% of customers spending as little as one week researching travel online before booking. On average travel planning statistics show consumers spend more time researching their holiday which on average will cost £1,500 than they do their mortgage which is likely to be their biggest life purchase.
How long do customers spend researching travel online before booking?
- 51% of US travelers spend as little as one week researching their holiday
- Women book activities, experiences and tours 67% of the time
- Beach holidays are 2.5 time more popular than taking a city break
- Consumers spend on average 5 days researching their holiday, approximately six days on buying the right car, but only 3.6 days choosing a mortgage.
- Travelers on average are visiting 38 travel websites before they make a booking.
It’s hardly surprising that customers are taking a long time reaching a decision, as according to Travelmarket, they visit on average 38 websites prior to making a booking – that’s a lot of research!
Being Green With Your Travel
Travelers are now more aware of the impact that travel might have on the environment and travelling by air produces the biggest carbon footprint compared to other travel options. This has resulted in over half (55%) of travelers across the globe now trying to make sustainable travel choices where they can. The power of social media has definitely shaped travelers opinions in the last year.
Are people looking for sustainable travel options?
- 55% of global travelers are now try to make sustainable travel choices than they did a year ago
- 73% of global travelers plan to stay at least once in environmentally or green accommodation
- 70% of travelers could be influenced to book accommodation if they knew it was eco-friendly
Travel companies should look to maximize their green credentials where possible, as 70% of travelers say they could be influenced to book accommodation if they knew it was eco-friendly. Making more of messages like going ‘plastic free’ or recycling could help hotels increase their online conversion.