One-third of German tourism revenues generated online
May 10, 2007: The rapid growth of internet-based travel bookings continued last year, and looks set to win further market share from offline channels over the next few years, a new study has found.
Nearly one-third of total German tourism revenues were generated via the internet in 2006, the study revealed. Online revenues rose to €12.9 billion in 2006 compared to €9.45 billion the year before. In contrast, offline distribution through travel agencies or direct sales channels such as call centres dropped from €28.1 billion to €27.7 billion, according to the study by research organisation Ulysses Web Tourismus. The total market grew to €40.6 billion from €37.5 billion, it said. Looking ahead, the study predicted online travel sales would grow to €16.2 billion this year and to €19.3 billion in 2008, which would be 42% of a total market worth €45.5 billion.
The major development last year was the rapid growth of online sales for major tour operators, who now generate about 10% of revenues through the internet, the study said. Specialist operators have even stronger online sales, with nearly 15% online, due to their lack of alternatives. The so-called “look to book” ratio, comparing the number of website hits to actual bookings, was 6.6%, according to the study. The figure was twice as high for transport companies such as airlines and railways. The study’s results were based on interviews with 357 tourism managers.