European OTA Outlook: Regulators, Rivals and Technology Disrupt Status Quo

European OTA Outlook: Regulators, Rivals and Technology Disrupt Status Quo Published July 2015 Analyst: Luke Bujarski

 

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Despite another strong run in 2014, online travel agencies (OTAs) are facing rapidly mounting operational challenges and competition to their core consumer business in Europe. Government regulators are cracking down on the use of rate parity agreements between OTAs and their hotel partners, while some airlines are punishing third-party bookings with additional fees. Metasearch brands are gaining momentum with the European consumer and travel supplier. And new players with deep pockets and expertise in e-commerce and mobile technology continue to threaten traditional OTAs. 

In this super-heated competitive environment, those OTAs with sizeable financial resources are diversifying into new services and revenue streams. Certain local and niche OTAs remain profitable with positive growth in revenue, but they increasingly struggle to remain relevant in Europe’s high-tech online travel ecosystem.

  • Overview
  • Priceline and Expedia Bank on Hotels, Currency Swings Hit Financials
  • Regulators Say No to Rate Parity, Disrupt E-Commerce Fabric
  • Metasearch Growing More Popular With Consumers and Suppliers
  • Local, Mid-Tier and Niche Brands Fight Uphill Battle
  • Non-Traditional Players Enter Travel, Pose Risk to Priceline and Expedia
  • OTAs Diversify Amid Competition in Core Business
  • Conclusions
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