Research Insights Everything you need to know about the U.K. travel market

Everything you need to know about the U.K. travel market

January 2021
Phocuswright Research

The U.K.'s online travel market is the largest in Europe, and the country's online travel penetration is among the highest in the world according to Phocuswright’s latest travel research report U.K. Travel Market Report 2020. Compared to Continental Europe, OTAs play a smaller role in the U.K. market. In 2020, online supplier-direct booking share of the total market will remain at 51%, while OTA share will increase one percentage point to 18%.

Phocuswright Chart: UK Travel Market Total Gross Bookings and Share by Channel 2020
(Click image to view a larger version.)

Amid the continuing impacts of COVID-19 and a renewed January 2021 lockdown in much of the U.K., the diverse consequences of Brexit continue to impact economic recovery. After more than three years of extensive negotiations and daring political maneuvers, the U.K. government and European Union (EU) finalized a trade and cooperation agreement on December 24, just days before the end of the transition period. While the U.K. officially left the EU in January 2020, the transition period postponed the consequences until January 2021.

The last-minute Brexit deal outlines plans for cooperation in trade, travel and law. The agreement prevents the massive market disruption that would have resulted if the transition period ended without a trade deal. However, even with the new agreement, the travel industry faces new barriers to international travel, including a range of insurance regulations, higher mobile roaming costs and new visa requirements for long-term stays.

Despite the current turbulence, the U.K. remains a key European economy and a leading travel market. The country's economy is the world's fifth largest, with nine consecutive years of GDP growth prior to 2020, including 1.3% growth in 2019. The U.K. is Europe's second-largest travel market overall (second only to Germany) and the largest online market.

The full report is the most complete U.K. travel market overview with Phocuswright's signature analysis of:

  • The Travel Distribution Landscape
  • Online Dynamics
  • Segment Snapshot
  • Online Travel Agencies and Other Intermediaries
  • Key Developments

Also in this series:

U.K. Travel Market 2020-2024: By the Numbers

Be sure to be on the look out for Phocuswright's Europe Travel Market Report 2020-2024 Series (coming soon):

  • Europe Travel Market Report 2020-2024 (includes access to all country reports)
  • France Travel Market Report 2020-2024
  • Germany Travel Market Report 2020-2024
  • Italy Travel Market Report 2020-2024
  • Scandinavia Travel Market Report 2020-2024
  • Spain Travel Market Report 2020-2024

This report is available for purchase now. To get access to these reports and the Phocuswright research library for you and your entire company, consider subscribing to Phocuswright Open Access. Our Open Access research subscription puts the world’s most comprehensive library of travel research and data visualization at your fingertips.