In stark contrast to other sectors of the travel business however, the Internet has seen a growth of approximately 15 million travel bookers in 1999 to approximately 70 million today. Over 38% of travel bookings are made online accounting for approximately 100 billion pounds worth of business.
Large Players are Controlling Online Travel Booking
Despite the number of options for booking travel online the majority of Internet users statistically do not make full use of them. Through the use of aggressive online paid search engine advertising the largest players dominate the market. A 2012 report by WordStream, (a PayPerClick technology and Search Engine marketing company) on Google search, The click-through rate of paid search advertisements on Google now outnumbers ‘free’ organic search result listings by nearly a 2:1 ratio for high commercial intent keyword searches and when people are searching in order to investigate or make a purchase, over 64% click a sponsored result. In summary a niche online travel market exists although it is not always the easiest to find!
The Future of Online Travel is 'Niche'
A recent report by Retail Banking Experts and Senior Travel Industry Professionals titled ‘Strategic Change’ concluded that in these changing times the independent travel company has a bright future provided it makes appropriate investment in technology, works closely with niche tour operators and creates competitive differentiation by focusing on specialist markets.