One third of global travel to be booked online by 2013

A third of all global travel will be booked online by 2013, shows a recent research report released by PhoCusWright, pointing out that some regions of the world have already surpassed this milestone. Online bookings for leisure and business travelers is most prevalent in the USA and in Europe, the two regions generating about three quarters of all online travel sales.

By next year, PhoCusWright forecasts online travel booking will also grow substantially in regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, diminishing the share of online sales held by US and Europe to about 73%. As the volume of online bookings from other regions continues to increase, this percentage will keep dropping. Another effect of the increased interest of tourists for online holiday or business trip booking, there will be additional boost to the already existing competition between websites offering travel services.

The effects of online travel buying being on the rise are already felt in the Internet world of travel. Booking services providers are working hard to offer better services and a closer to reality view of the vacation packages they are selling. New travel start-ups focus on allowing travelers to choose rooms based on views and the ever growing demand for genuine venue reviews will help stimulate the trust of online travel buyers.

So why only one third of global travel booked online? There are many reasons, from the trust people have in web companies to the long-term relationships with traditional travel agents, but one of the reasons travel companies need to keep in mind is the lack of online information on certain venues and the lack of services to less important travel hot spots. Online travel sites still concentrate on big cities and popular resorts, making it hard for tourists to find what they are looking for online.

Being able to offer alternative travel services, less known destinations and accommodation options in smaller, but picturesque towns across the world will prove to be a valuable competitive advantage in the battle for online travel buyers.