Online Travel Booking Statistics & Trends 2023
In a trillion-dollar tourism industry, travelers now expect personalized experiences when making their travel bookings, and more and more are choosing to book online. Holiday companies need to understand customer behaviors and requirements for them to stay ahead of the competition. Booking a holiday is one of the biggest online purchases most people make in a year, meaning customers are spending up to 12 weeks researching what to book and can visit up to 38 websites before booking. This has resulted in more travelers making bookings on a mobile phone or travel app than ever before.
In our report, we cover key online travel booking and sales statistics across the industry and highlight emerging trends.
Online Travel Booking Statistics
- The travel & tourism industry is worth a massive $1.2 Trillion
- The online 2019 travel market projection of $756 billion is expected to grow to $817 billion by 2020.
- Covid during 2020 costs the travel sector an estimated loss of $700 billion
- In 2018 digital travel sales worldwide hit $694 billion, and $190.4 billion was from the US.
- 15.4% growth in worldwide digital travel sales and 10.3% growth in hotel digital bookings.
- 70% of holidays cost more than £1,500, with the remaining 30% costing more than £2,500.
- Most bookings come directly with 66.7% of total bookings, agents and affiliates account for 24.3%, with marketplace bookings contributing 9.1%.
- Agent, affiliates, and local tourist offices bookings increased from 17.5% to 24.3% in 2018.
- By 2022 the worldwide market volume for online hotel booking is likely to exceed $174 million.
What do you want to know?
Travel Industry & Online Travel Market Statistics
World travel market statistics show the travel industry to be worth around $1.2 trillion a year. Industry data shows a continuous year-on-year growth for the industry, and online travel marketing statistics see a 10.4% increase in online bookings since 2018. By 2020 this will have grown by a further 8%, meaning online sales will hit the $817 billion mark – unfortunately, Covid brought the travel industry to a standstill in 2020 and it’s estimated this has cost the sector $700 billion, with multiple travel companies going out of business and millions of redundancies and job losses across the world. Let’s hope this industry can recover and bounce back into 2021 and beyond.
- The travel industry is worth a massive $1.2 Trillion a year.
- In 2019 the online travel market will be worth $756 billion.
- $694 Billion of digital worldwide travel sales were made in 2018, a 10.4% increase year on year.
- In 2020 the online travel market is expected to grow to $817 billion. (Covid meant that in 2020 the travel industry lost an estimated $700 billion)
- The online travel booking market in the US is worth $190.4 billion a year in sales.
- 70% of holidays cost more than £1,500, with the remaining 30% costing more than £2,500.
One of the standout and most interesting travel market statistics we came across is that 70% of holidays cost more than £1,500, making it one of the biggest customer purchases consumers make each year. The most money is spent in the US than all other countries, as they spend $190.4 billion a year online in the travel market.
Agents & Online Travel Booking Statistics
When looking at the current online travel agency market share, agents and affiliates were 24.3%, marketplace bookings were just 9.1%, and direct bookings were 66.7%. According to the travel trends from 2017, these direct bookings are down from 79.2%, and travel agencies are up from 17.5%.
With the collapse of travel agent giant Thomas Cook, it will be interesting to see how consumers look to book their travel in the future, and online travel booking statistics will definitely be changing.
- 15.4% growth during 2019 in worldwide digital travel sales and 10.3% growth in hotel digital bookings.
- Agents and affiliates were 24.3%, marketplace bookings were just 9.1%, and direct bookings were 66.7%.
- In 2017 online direct bookings were 79.2%, agents and affiliates were 17.5%, marketplace bookings just 3.2%.
- Travel agencies, affiliates, and local tourist office bookings also increased from 17.5% to 24.3% in 2018.
Affiliate websites still have a small percentage of the market but should be classed as direct bookings. As more often than not, the consumer has merely clicked on the first google result, and clever affiliates have been able to manipulate the search rankings and make people believe they are booking direct.
Desktop vs. Mobile: Online Travel Market Share
The research we found shows that mobile travel booking statistics haven’t changed much in recent years. More importantly, the trend that travelers are still not confident to make their booking on mobile is evidenced in the extremely low conversion rate of 0.7%. Interestingly those using a travel app are more likely to convert that on a mobile website.
- 82% of all travel bookings in 2018 were made online through travel sites or mobile apps.
- 48% of all smartphone users are happy to research, book, and plan their whole trip to a new destination using just a mobile device.
- 26% of travel searches now occur from a mobile device.
- 69% of travelers now say they are happy to use voice search when they plan a trip.
- Cosmopolitan Las Vegas hotel found that guests who text its chatbot ‘Rose’ spent almost 30% more than those who don’t.
- 72% of all mobile bookings made by travelers happen within a 48-hour window.
- Online conversion rates for desktop bookings are 2.4%, but they are just 0.7% on a smartphone.
- App conversion rates are five times higher than mobile website booking.
Consumers still like to spend time researching their trip using a mobile, find it useful interacting with chatbots, and have begun using voice searches to help them find the information they seek to book the best trip possible.
Smartphone Travel App Usage Statistics & Trends
Travel app usage statistics show that apps remain the ‘go-to’ for traveler bookings and engagement. People enjoy the speed apps bring to their experience, the enhanced functionality, and all of which can be done offline.
Businesses should understand the importance of their travel app statistics because if they get it wrong and don’t meet customer expectations, the big headline statistic is that 50% of all travel apps get deleted after one month of being downloaded. You must ensure you provide customers with apps that fulfill their requirements and make their life easier!
- 50% of all travel apps are deleted after one month of installing them.
- 39% of users like the speed of apps.
- 30% of users highlight the app functionality, boarding passes, check-in, passbook as their reason for using an app.
- 28% use travel apps for their live notifications, 79% enjoyed status updates on their travel, 76% price changes, 68% sales, 68% reminders, 56% loyalty point updates.
- 26% prefer using a travel app because it will work offline.
- 21% of users believe the travel apps offer a better user experience.
- 17% of app users prefer that it stores their preferences.
- 11% used a travel app because they were part of a loyalty or rewards program.
Rather than apps showing signs of ‘app fatigue’ seen across other industries, travel apps have become increasingly popular with downloads on the rise. In fact, 82% of travelers have said they will be downloading more travel apps than they have done before.
Online Hotel Booking Statistics & Trends
Online hotel booking statistics in 2019 show that a massive $174 million was spent on the internet. And by 2023, hotel booking statistics will grow to 700 million people making an online hotel booking. OTA statistics show that soon 43% of people who aren’t booking their hotel rooms online make the transition.
Mobile hotel booking statistics show that travelers from the Middle East have become more mobile-savvy, with 53% of them booking via their mobile. Compared to North America, where only 28% of travelers use their mobile to make a booking.
- Online hotel bookings are estimated to exceed $174 million across the globe in 2022.
- 700 million people will make a hotel room booking online by 2023.
- $1.6 trillion was spent across the hotel industry bookings in 2017.
- The percentage of hotel bookings made online is 57%.
- 33% of US leisure travelers booked to stay in privately owned accommodation.
- 67% of all higher-income travelers said they’d rather spend their money on experiences over a better hotel room.
- 62% of guests that made a complaint said staff being unfriendly was the most frustrating part of their stay.
- Google data shows that travelers book their flights and hotels on average 12 weeks ahead of their travel date.
- Under 12 weeks, Google data shows the focus moves to searches around holiday experiences.
- Middle East travelers are most mobile-savvy, with a huge 53% booking via mobile. In Asia, the figure is around 45%.
- 33% of European travelers book their hotels and travel using a mobile device. In North America, this is 28% of travelers.
Interestingly, looking at Google trends, travelers are now making hotel bookings much later than in the past, with statistics showing travelers book around 12 weeks before a trip. This market behavior will have been helped by large hotel websites that have dominated the internet in the last 5 years. Booking.com and Hotels.com have allowed customers access to great deals across the world.
Global Hotel Booking Trends For Businesses
We’ve done a lot of research and have got some top tips for hotels to improve their online booking statistics.
Firstly, confidence is essential on mobile – so tell customers they’re getting the best deal. Reassure them throughout the booking journey, and provide them with the information they want to know about the hotel. Give your guests a ‘best price guarantee.’ Most importantly, create a smooth booking experience that doesn’t frustrate customers. According to Google, 54% of leisure travelers say usability issues on mobile is the reason they book elsewhere.
Following their stay, ensure that all customers who have had a good stay and don’t have any complaints are emailed after to request a review.
- 80% of customers who are asked to leave a review will do so.
- 54% of total guests have written and submitted a review during the last 12 months.
- Approximately 93% of customers leave positive reviews.
- 90% of consumers say online reviews impact buying decisions.
With 80% of people who are asked willing to provide a review, the ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ philosophy is clearly evident here. Get this wrong, and you’ll be limiting the number of future customers looking to stay at your hotel. Why? Because 90% of all travelers say, they are influenced to book by online reviews.
User Behavior In Online Travel Booking
According to online travel booking trends, Monday has become the most important day for bookings across the travel and hotel industry. Most making bookings whilst sitting at their work desks because the busiest booking time is around 10 am. With people booking 24/7, hotels and travel agents need to ensure they have their booking website working around the clock.
- Monday is the busiest day for customers to book travel across the internet.
- Saturday and Sunday are the quietest days for bookings.
- 10 am is the busiest time for online booking trends, while 6 am is the quietest.
- 90% of travelers expect a personalized online experience when they book their travel.
- Customers who book their experiences ahead of their travel and hotel spend 47% more on accommodation and 81% more on travel than those who wait to book locally.
The industry needs to ensure they understand booking behavior trends, which can help convert more ‘lookers into bookers.’ Almost all travelers (90%) now expect a personalized online booking experience and will be put off booking if the website doesn’t meet their expectations.
Online Travel Website Statistics & Trends
TripAdvisor is now deemed the most influential travel booking website globally, with 80% of all travelers spending up to 4 weeks researching a destination, reading reviews of others, and looking for travel tips. And with 90% of travelers saying online reviews influence them, it’s hardly surprising that TripAdvisor still leads the way for booking sites.
Other websites that rate highly amongst travelers include Booking, Kayak, and eDreams mostly for their website speed and making sure they stay ahead of the competition when it comes to usability.
What are the best online travel booking sites?
- Tripadvisor has over 325 million users each month, which it uses to influence online travel bookings behavior.
- 80% of Tripadvisor users spend four weeks researching before making a purchase.
- Booking.com is officially the most used travel site globally, with over 443 million active visitors each month.
- Top 5 travel websites for speed and usability are Kayak, Booking, eDreams, Trainline, and Lastminute.
- 66.7% of online travel bookings are made directly using the hotels’ own website.
- 80% of all holiday packages are now booked online.
- For 60% of those booking a holiday online, it will be their most expensive online purchase.
Building the best online travel booking website has its rewards, with statistics showing that 80% of all holiday packages are now made online.
Booking & Travel Planning Statistics
Travelers are becoming much savvier when planning their travel online, with 51% of customers spending as little as one-week researching travel online before booking. On average, travel planning statistics show consumers spend more time researching their holiday, which will cost £1,500 than they do their mortgage, which is likely to be their biggest life purchase.
How long do customers spend researching travel online before booking?
- 51% of US travelers spend as little as one week researching their holiday.
- Women book activities, experiences, and tours 67% of the time.
- Beach holidays are 2.5 times more popular than taking a city break.
- On average, consumers spend 5 days researching their holiday, approximately six days on buying the right car, but only 3.6 days choosing a mortgage.
- Travelers, on average, are visiting 38 travel websites before they make a booking.
It’s hardly surprising that customers are taking a long time reaching a decision, as according to Travelmarket, they visit on average 38 websites before making a booking – that’s a lot of research!
Sustainability & Holiday Booking
Research shows travelers are now more aware of the impact that travel might have on the environment. Traveling by air produces the biggest carbon footprint compared to other travel options. This has resulted in over half (55%) of travelers worldwide now trying to make sustainable travel choices where they can. The power of social media has definitely shaped the average traveler’s opinions in the last year.
- 55% of global travelers are now trying to make sustainable travel choices than they did a year ago.
- 73% of global travelers plan to stay at least once in environmentally or green accommodation.
- 70% of travelers could be influenced to book accommodation if they knew it was eco-friendly.
Travel companies should look to maximize their green credentials where possible, as 70% of travelers say they could be influenced to book accommodation if they knew it was eco-friendly. Making more messages like going ‘plastic-free’ or recycling could help hotels increase their online conversion.