The United Kingdom has one of the largest travel markets in Europe. U.K. consumers have embraced online channels for travel planning and booking the country is heavily dependent on global travel suppliers and intermediaries and is critically important as an outbound market for Europe and the rest of the world. UK’s online travel market is the largest in Europe, and the country’s online travel penetration is among the highest in the world. The online travel industry in the United Kingdom has undergone several changes over the last decade, owing to technological advances. The influx of big data and other complementing technologies such as automation and augmented and virtual reality is expected to create opportunities for travel agencies. By incorporating these technologies into their existing platforms and applications they can deliver a better user experience.
Social media platforms have emerged as major influencers and effective marketing platforms for online tour agencies. Travelers use social media platforms to share their travel experiences and post their reviews, helping other customers to choose travel agencies according to their requirements. This trend is expected to increase with the introduction of more social media platforms. The travel sector in United Kingdom has been among the hardest hit industries by COVID-19. Many companies are already shifting focus to 2021 and 2022. The market outlook varies significantly for travel companies depending on their exposure to different holiday types, destinations served and customer demographics. 50% of United Kingdom travelers intend to book via an online travel agency (OTA) after Covid-19. Online Travel Agencies are a critical channel for attracting domestic travelers as the United Kingdom market rebuilds its tourism industry.
Key Market Trends
Tourism is Driving the Online Travel Market in United Kingdom
Tourism is an economic, social, and cultural asset. The sector is a major contributor to jobs and growth in the UK, indirectly employing 4 million people. The UK has world class museums and attractions, breath taking and diverse natural landscapes, a thriving cultural and arts sector, a world-famous festival scene, unrivalled expertise in staging and organising business and sporting events, a renowned heritage offer, great transport connections, first-class food, and drink and much more. If the tourism sector is successful, then many other sectors like arts, culture, hospitality, air, maritime, rail, coach, and business travel are successful too. Tourism is driving the United Kingdom online travel market. Driven by the increasing impact of Generation Y and Generation Z on the United Kingdom tourist market, the demand for technologically manufactured personal experiences is increasing. The rise of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets has boosted the need among these young generations for private personalisation of their experiences along all phases of the customer journey.
Shift Towards Mobile Phones for Travel Booking
Consumers can use a mobile device to search and book travel all without the traditional gatekeeper travel agent. Travelers today are online and mobile-savvy more than ever before. 45% of UK travelers feel comfortable researching, planning, and booking trips to new destinations using only their mobile. New generations of mobile devices are so powerful that they can be used for any purpose and will be able to predict travelers’ needs and solve problems in real-time. Mobile travel apps are gradually gaining pace in the market and are preferred by travelers to make their travel arrangements. Apps infused with various features are being developed to remain connected to travelers throughout their journey and to assist them whenever required. Travel apps offer flexibility to travelers, thus, becoming an important differentiating factor for the consumers while choosing a travel company.
The report covers major international players operating in the United Kingdom online travel market. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. However, with technological advancement and product innovation, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by securing new contracts and by tapping new markets.
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Table of Contents
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Market Drivers
4.3 Market Restraints
4.4 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.5 Porters Five Force Analysis
4.5.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.5.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.6 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market
5.1.2 Travel Accommodation
5.1.3 Vacation Packages
5.2 Booking Type
5.2.1 Online Travel Agencies
5.2.2 Direct Travel Suppliers
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.5 Expedia Group
6.2.7 Thomas Cook Group
6.2.11 Dream World Travel*
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Expedia Group
- Thomas Cook Group
- Dream World Travel