The cause of major channel shifts in Canada
- May 2021
- Phocuswright Research
Overall, OTAs captured a larger share of total travel in 2020 because of the disproportionate amount of leisure versus business travel. According to Phocuswright's latest travel research report Canada Travel Market Report 2020-2024, short trips that were booked domestically during the year benefited OTAs as well as the supplier-direct online channel. The travel agency/ travel management company (TMC) channel shrunk due to the halt in business travel, while traditional travel agencies suffered the loss of cruises and tours. Call centers held steady as confused travelers contacted suppliers directly for information before booking.
Major channel shifts will continue through 2024 as online bookings expand. Momentum for airlines will give the supplier-direct online channel a projected 35% share of total gross bookings versus 29% in 2020. Meanwhile, the travel agency/TMC channel will climb to 21%, as it benefits from the return of business travel, packages and cruise. The call center/phone channel will continue to shrink but will still represent 24% of the total by 2024 as meetings, mostly booked through offline direct channels, improve.
Travel and tourism businesses are getting impatient as they wait for the next phase of recovery. The latest setback in COVID cases has taken the steam out of reopening. Yet Canadian travel companies are resilient and optimistic. With summer around the corner, and some restrictions loosening up, a big surge of domestic travelers should recharge the industry. Then, once the U.S. border reopens, a sense of normalcy should slowly emerge.
The full report provides market sizing, projections and key segment analysis for the Canadian travel industry through 2024. Download the full report here.
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