Eastern Europe: OTAs Poised for Consolidation

Author: Cathy Schetzina

Published: August 02, 2012

Medium

As Eastern Europe's online travel market heats up, a crowd of competitors is battling for position in the booming online travel agency (OTA) channel. The OTA market, with its scores of small, local players, is on the cusp of consolidation, according to a new PhoCusWright Global and European Edition report, PhoCusWright's Eastern Europe Online Travel Overview.

While supplier websites dominate in Eastern Europe, the region's OTAs are gaining as they evolve their technology and inventory offerings. By 2013, 10% of the region's travel bookings will be made via an OTA, up from 7% in 2011. The OTA market is growing more than 25% annually, snapping up inventory from the fragmented hotel market and maintaining a sizable share of air bookings despite competition from supplier websites.

Global powerhouses Booking.com (Priceline) and Hotels.com (Expedia) dominate outbound hotel bookings and together account for nearly 40% of OTA revenue in the region. The remainder is divided among a large number of local players that offer air or domestic hotel bookings.

"The next few years will be key for Eastern Europe's OTA market, and international players will be watching closely to see how the local travel agent market shakes out," said Lorraine Sileo, vice president, research. "A few local OTAs will likely emerge as dominant in air and domestic hotel reservations, while the smallest among them will find it increasingly difficult to survive."

PhoCusWright's Eastern Europe Online Travel Overview presents market sizing and projections for Eastern Europe's total and online leisure and unmanaged business travel markets through 2013. The report analyzes competitive dynamics throughout the region, with insight into online travel adoption in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and the Czech Republic. Highlights include:Highlights include:

  • Total market and online leisure/unmanaged business travel bookings for 2009-2013
  • Analysis of major travel product segments – air, lodging, rail, car rental and tour operators
  • Comparison of supplier-branded websites and online travel agencies (OTAs, including bookings and projected growth rates through 2013)
  • Discussion of the OTA landscape, including key players, recent developments and the relative influence of local versus global OTAs
  • Impact of mobile, search and social websites

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