Recent years have been up and down, but the global travel market is set for growth in 2017, driven by major gains in Asia Pacific, with an increasingly mature Chinese market at the forefront.
In 2016 57% of US air bookings were made online; Europe saw 48% of bookings online, and APAC lagged behind at 39%. APAC, however, gives the most reason to be bullish on the air market again.
In 2015, nearly 80% of travelers booked an outdoor activity while in-destination. Now the biggest players in the travel industry are launching products for booking activities with an instant-booking focus, paving the way for significant growth in 2017.
China is also now the second-largest travel market in the world, and is set to become the most highly penetrated online market in the APAC region this year.
Worldwide, most online bookings are still made on desktop. In both the US and the UK the rate of mobile bookings is still under 30%. China, however, is the very notable exception to that rule; over half of all travel bookings are made on mobile, in a trend that will likely continue in 2017.
Mobile growth will be driven elsewhere both by demographic changes and improvements in tech. This will see mobile strategy become an even greater focus across the travel industry, with a premium on optimizing for conversion.
Those who can differentiate on mobile could win big, and this should be a particular focus for companies operating in rapidly emerging mobile markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil.
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