The European online travel market is expected to grow 10% in 2011, led by solid double-digit gains in countries that have been slower to adopt online booking channels in the past, according to Phocuswright's European Online Travel Overview Sixth Edition. Despite their dramatically different economic circumstances in the aftermath of the global recession, Spanish and German online travel bookings are projected to top other key European markets with increases of 14% and 13%, respectively, in 2011.
The Spanish online leisure/unmanaged business travel market will continue to recover following its first-ever decline in 2009. Spain's low online travel penetration, just 22% in 2009, affords plenty of room for growth, with gains expected to accelerate slightly in 2012.
Germany led European online travel growth in 2009-2010 as hold-outs began to embrace the convenience of shopping online. The high priority that German consumers place on travel also helped to buffer Germany's travel industry, which dropped substantially less than the total European market in 2009.
Online travel in both Italy and France is expected to grow moderately in 2011 at 9%, while U.K. online leisure and unmanaged business bookings will increase 6%. Despite having the highest online leisure/unmanaged business travel penetration in Europe, Scandinavia is expected to grow online travel bookings 10% in 2011. However, online gains in mature markets such as Scandinavia and the U.K. will level out over the next several years as penetration plateaus.
The outlook for 2011 and beyond varies for each regional market and industry segment. Phocuswright's European Online Travel Overview Sixth Edition is a comprehensive overview of the European online travel market, with detailed analysis of France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. The report provides market sizing and forecasting through 2012 for all major travel segments (airlines, hotels, car rental, tour operators, rail and cruise).
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