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U.S. Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition: Online Travel Agencies
Report | Published: November 2010

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  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Methodology

Publication Summary

Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition: Online Travel Agencies provides an in-depth look at the current state of the U.S. online travel agency (OTA) market and projects future performance, with market sizing and forecasting through 2012. The report reviews online travel trends, innovations and data crucial to understanding the dynamics of the OTA channel. Topics include market share among the major players, online agencies versus supplier websites, international trends, recommendation engines and more. The report also contains a detailed overview of the U.S. travel market. Like umbrella sales on a rainy day, OTAs do best when inclement conditions dampen the travel marketplace. But despite the countercyclical boost, the OTA segment as a whole skidded off its growth track for the first time in 2009. The decline was inconsistent across companies, however, and share shifts between the major players concentrated the loss to certain brands, while other brands managed to buck the trend. The arrival of 2010 has brought a return to the good times for OTAs: They are all back in the black and the segment is enjoying double-digit growth. The conditions favoring OTAs will persist throughout 2010 and into 2011, as the economy gradually recovers. U.S. Travel Market Overview To put the segment-specific trends in perspective, this report includes a comprehensive overview of the total U.S. travel market. The robust "Overview" chapter includes market sizing and projections for the U.S. travel market through 2012, including breakouts for key online and offline distribution channels and all major travel segments. Purchase Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition: Online Travel Agencies to understand the current performance and future outlook of the U.S. OTA market. Get a complete view of the U.S. online travel market with the full report, Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition.

Table of Contents

44 Pages

Section One
Size and Structure of the U.S. Online Travel Market
What Goes Down Must Come Up
Composition of the U.S. Travel Market
U.S. Travel Market by Segment
U.S. Travel Market - Channel Shift
Size of the U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Market
Online vs. Offline
The Global Outlook
Online Market by Segment
Online Travel Agencies vs. Branded Websites
Key Trends & Implications
Purpose of the Report

Section Two
Online Travel Agencies: Recovery? What's the Rush?
Key Findings
Size of the Market
The Recession's Rising Tide
OTAs vs. Supplier Websites
Domestic Trends Become Exaggerated Overseas
Other OTA Trends


Percent of Leisure Travelers by Age Group

Trip Budget Intentions by Annual Household Travel Spend

Total U.S. Travel Market, 2006-2012 (US$B)

Total U.S. Travel Market, 2007-2012, Year-Over-Year Change

Total U.S. Travel Market by Segment, 2009

Total U.S. Travel Market by Channel, 2009 & 2012

U.S. Travel Market, Year-Over-Year Channel Change, 2008-2012

U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Market, 2008-2012 (US$B)

Online vs. Total Travel Market Year-Over-Year Growth Rates, 2008-2012

U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business and Total Travel Gross Bookings, 2008-2012 (US$B) and Online Penetration

Online Travel Penetration of the Total Travel Market, Global Markets, 2008-2012

U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Market by Segment, 2008-2012 (US$M)

Total U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Market by Segment, 2009 and 2012

Online Leisure Unmanaged Business Growth Rates by Segment, 2009 and 2010

U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel as Percentage of Total Travel Market: Online Penetration by Segment, 2008-2011

U.S. Online and Total Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Gross Bookings and Growth Rates and Total Online Penetration, 2008-2012 (US$M)

Online Travel Market Share: Supplier Websites vs. Online Travel Agencies, 2008-2012

Channel Market Share of Online Revenue by Segment, 2008-2012

U.S. Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Market by Channel, 2008-2012 (US$M)

Online Travel Agency Gross Bookings by Segment, 2008-2012 (US$M)

Online Packaging Gross Bookings and Share of Total OTA Market, 2008-2012 (US$M)

Lodging and Air Traveler Incidence

Quarterly Annual Change in U.S. Gross Bookings by Public OTAs, 2009-1H10

U.S. Market Share Among the Four Largest OTAs, 1H08 vs. 1H10

U.S. Supplier Website and OTA Share of Online Leisure/Unmanaged Business Travel Gross Bookings, 2008-2012

Conversion Rates for Air and Hotel Product Categories (Average Unique Monthly Bookers), 1H08-1H10

U.S. Supplier Website and Online Travel Agency Share of Total Travel Market, 2008-2012 (US$M)

U.S. and International Gross Bookings and Annual Change of the Three Global Public OTAs, 2009 (US$M)


Market Size and Forecasts Phocuswright has been tracking the financial results of the online travel industry since 1998. This report's estimates and forecasts cover U.S.-based travel businesses, including travel suppliers (airlines, hotels, car rental companies, packagers, railways, and cruise lines) and online travel agencies. The total market size includes sales of non-U.S. travel suppliers transacted via U.S.-based OTAs. All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. Both leisure and unmanaged business travel services are included in the online travel market size and forecast figures. Unless otherwise indicated, all online gross bookings and share figures refer to leisure/unmanaged travel. Unmanaged business travel refers to all air, car, and hotel expenses associated with business travel in firms that do not have a travel policy dictating the channel, type of travel, supplier, or fare/rate uses. Corporate online booking systems such as Sabre/GetThere and Amadeus/e-Travel are excluded from this analysis (for more information on the corporate travel market, see Phocuswright's U.S. Corporate Travel Distribution Fourth Edition, July 2009). This report does include corporate travel bookings in the total travel market figures and in the total revenues for each segment, but does not directly address the size and dynamics of the corporate travel market, except to the extent that they shape key trends affecting the size and development of the total and online travel markets. Phocuswright builds its estimates and forecasts from discussions with more than 80 travel executives regarding their companies' Internet sales, marketing and technology investments, challenges, strategies, and expectations. Their responses have been vetted and aggregated to determine market size for supplier websites and OTAs. Phocuswright also reviews data from Securities and Exchange Commission documents, company reports, and select third-party data sources. Figures for 2008-2009 are based on actual company results. Projections for 2010-2012 are based on company interviews, consumer research, and market developments. Phocuswright also considers historical growth and economic trends when developing its forecasts. Estimates and projections are for gross bookings - the retail value of travel sold over the Internet - after cancellations. Figures for airlines are based on flown (passenger) revenue. Hotel figures are based on room revenue. Figures for car rental are based on domestic U.S. revenues, excluding insurance replacement revenue. Figures for cruise lines and tour operators are based on U.S. outbound passenger revenue. Figures for rail are based on passenger ticket revenue. Travel that is researched online but booked offline using toll-free telephone numbers provided on the websites is, where possible, excluded from online gross bookings figures. Total travel figures (online and offline) are used to determine Internet penetration for each market segment. Total travel figures are either derived from third-party sources or are Phocuswright estimates. Figures listed in tables do not always add precisely to column totals due to rounding. Phocuswright has revised its historical figures and forecasts from previous editions of its U.S. Online Travel Overview based on the following: 1. Revised information derived directly from the travel companies interviewed and related sources; 2. Revised economic and industry data forecasts from third parties; 3. Revised outlook based on Phocuswright's consumer surveys and other ongoing research efforts. Consumer Travel and Behavioral Information Phocuswright conducts an annual consumer survey for its Consumer Travel Report series. Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition draws frequently from Phocuswright's Consumer Travel Report Second Edition (May 2010). For the latter report, Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey during January 12-28, 2010 through Global Market Insite, Inc., targeting the general U.S. population that has Internet access and travels for leisure. To qualify for participation in the study, respondents had to indicate that they had taken at least one leisure trip at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months and that the trip included paid accommodations and/or air travel. They were also required to have played an active role in planning their leisure trips. Respondents who qualified are referred to as "U.S. travelers." Paid accommodations include hotels and other nightly priced lodging products, as well as timeshare and vacation rentals. Phocuswright received 2,763 qualified responses, and the weighted respondent pool can be projected with confidence to the U.S. adult population with Internet access. To accurately measure incidence of travel within certain segments, an additional 1,280 respondents were surveyed to obtain baseline metrics about travelers and nontravelers within the general online population. The error interval for analysis of the U.S. traveler population is +/-1.9% at a 95% confidence level. Significant differences noted in this report were identified at a 95% confidence level. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Harris Interactive, Phocuswright projects the number of U.S. adults with Internet access who took at least one leisure trip (as previously defined) in 2009 to be 112 million people. These travelers represent 49% of the total U.S. population. The additional requirement for respondents to have played an active role in travel planning further tightens the focus of the study, as 11% of U.S. travelers were consequently disqualified. Phocuswright's Consumer Travel Report Second Edition examines U.S. travelers who played an active role in planning their trips. These travelers represent 73 million consumers and 40% of the total U.S. adult population.