Even though the travel and tourism sector is bouncing back, the way people travel has changed significantly. From the way they plan, book, and manage travel to how often they do it—the travel industry has shifted dramatically.
So, where better to consider these changes than online—that’s where most travelers find and pay for their trips.
We’ve compiled over 60 online travel booking statistics to take a look at travelers’ new preferences and behaviors for post-pandemic travel. These travel booking statistics will give you a peek into the most popular trends in the tourism industry with meaningful insights into traveler expectations and the role of mobile and online travel agencies.
A look at how the online travel booking industry has fared so far
- The online travel industry generated revenue worth more than $800 billion in 2021. The travel industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.58% between 2021 and 2027—when it’s expected to hit $1463.98 billion (GBTA).
- The Asia-Pacific region (APAC) has the highest growth potential in the online travel booking industry—with China and India leading the way. This growth can be attributed to the growth of the middle-class income group, increase in disposable income, and wider access to the internet (GBTA).
- The travel sector recovered over 50% of its gross revenue by the end of 2021 when compared to the pre-coronavirus numbers. This recovery is projected to reach 85% by the end of 2022 (Travelport).
- In the five surveyed countries, travel intent is higher in 2022 in comparison to 2019—both for business and leisure travel activity (Tripadvisor).
- Consumer intent for flying and online hotel booking was 50% more in September 2021 than it was in September 2020 (Deloitte).
How people book—researching and buying behaviors
- American travelers spend 29% more time on average booking a trip in 2022 than they did in 2019. In Australia, this number drops to a 16% increase, and in Germany, people now spend 6% more time booking a trip (Tripadvisor).
- Travelers in Singapore spend 68% of their time researching local travel review sites while Australians devote 60% of their time to planning trips (Tripadvisor).
- 52% of American travelers prioritize the time they devote to travel research over all other factors involved in the booking process. 55% of Britons feel the same way (Tripadvisor).
- 29% of bookers prefer direct travel reservations for various reasons, including:
- Ask for extra amenities (28%)
- Get the best price (21%)
- Avail of loyalty programs (21%)
- Negotiate better prices (18%)
- Find direct booking benefits (11%)
- In the consideration stage of planning a trip, videos and photos are the two most critical factors affecting global travelers’ decisions. They also look at a hotel’s ability to showcase its amenities and guest experience while deciding on a place to stay (Hospitalitynet).
- Three of the most impactful deal breakers for most travelers are bland and unappealing hotel rooms, non-aesthetic food photos, and boring content presentation (Hospitalitynet).
- 17% of people in the United States have bought some form of travel app subscription to help them plan their travels (Tripadvisor).
Online booking statistics indicate a renewed outlook of travelers worldwide
- The online travel market size worldwide reached the $433.2 billion mark in 2021, and it’s expected to reach $690.71 billion by 2026 (Statista).
- 83% of US adults want to book their trips online (StratosJets).
- Monday is the post popular day for booking travel, and Saturday is the quietest day (Condor Ferries).
- 63% of travelers believe technology plays a key role in controlling health risks during trips and reduces travel anxiety in a post-pandemic world (Booking.com).
- The percentage of shoppers that abandon their travel purchase is 85% for desktop users and 91% for those buying on a mobile device (SalesCycle).
- 72% of mobile bookings happen in the 48 hours following Google searches that include the words ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ (StratosJets).
- In 2022, 64% of those booking online make online purchases on desktop and 44% make them on a mobile device. This shows a shift from 2021, when 59% of bookings were done on desktop and 41% on a mobile device (SalesCycle).
- 66% is the revenue share of online sales in the global travel and tourism market (Statista).
- It’s estimated that over 700 million people will make a booking online by 2023 (StratosJets).
- 70% of all customers do their research on a mobile device (StratosJets).
Biggest blockers and frustrations in online travel booking
- 43% of Americans don’t like booking travel, including 23% of GenZ travelers. The experience gap between booking travel and actually traveling is notably high (Travelport).
- One in three travelers prioritize flexibility over all other factors when making reservations (Cloudbeds).
- 74% of travel agents surveyed believe buying and selling travel plans can be simplified. 86% of agents are in favor of modernizing the user experience to boost online travel sales (Travelport).
- One of the biggest factors hampering travel bookings is the lack of transparency. Comparing too many options is challenging and becomes a roadblock (Travelport).
- A third of families consider the process of searching for the best flights and making hotel room reservations extremely time-consuming—23% of them don’t enjoy booking trips (Travelport).
- 46% of those booking say they are influenced by previous experience, 41% say reviews and 39% say price (PhocusWire).
- Travelers visit 38 sites on average to finalize and book their travel plans (Skift).
- A study revealed that almost 42% of consumers are taking longer to book travel than five years ago (Yieldify).
- 60% of surveyed travelers believe travel options are filled with hidden costs and are not upfront enough (Travelport).
- 45% of travelers prefer booking a trip from start to finish from a single website that presents options for flights, accommodations, car rentals, and extras (Travelport).
- Millennials prefer to book their whole travel needs via travel agencies. They’ll book their hotel via travel agencies, however, 52% will look at the hotel’s website for more information (CondorFerris).
- In a post-pandemic world, three concerns top the charts for the surveyed travelers:
- Fear of contracting COVID-19 (41%)
- Quarantine or self-isolation mandates in different regions (41%)
- Last-minute cancellations or changes due to travel restrictions (37%)
Travel booking is going mobile
- People use mobiles to browse more than purchase since 55% of all online traffic comes from mobile, however only 44% of it is converted to sales (Salecycle).
- The usage of a mobile device to make travel bookings was at 31% in 2019 and rose to 37% in 2020. The mobile travel booking rate jumped to 41% in 2021 (Salecycle).
- The factors expected to boost travel intent in the next 12 months include:
- Mobile apps offering on-trip alerts (44%)
- Self-service check-in (41%)
- Contactless payments (41%)
- Flexible cancellations (40%)
- 83% of travelers do their research on a mobile device before finalizing their travel plans (Think with Google).
- The use of a mobile phone to make travel plans has shifted in recent times. 70% of mobile users search for things to do on a trip, 66% look for attractive destinations, and 58% finalize their accommodation options (AdColony).
- 76% of respondents believe searching for anything on a mobile is the best way to research and plan an itinerary (AdColony).
How is online business travel booking evolving
- 87% of business travelers and corporate travel managers want a more simplified booking process. 42% of them think booking a trip is actually more challenging than traveling itself (Travelport).
- 82% of travel agents report a need for digital retailing for both leisure and business travel. A better customer experience is a priority for both types of travel (Travelport).
- Travel booking falls short of the top three easiest buying experiences behind Booking a restaurant online, buying clothes online, and browsing and buying electronic/physical goods online (Travelport).
- 72% of workers are eager and ready to take their next business trip in 2022 (Amadeus).
- At least four in five travelers are willing to fly for business trips if all necessary safety measures are followed (Amadeus).
- 48% of business travelers are willing to offer their health information to fly for attending a business event or conference (Amadeus).
- For 38% of respondents, the average frequency of business trips is once every 2-3 months. 32% travel once or twice every month for business purposes (Expedia).
Role of online travel agents in a post-pandemic world
- 41% of those surveyed prefer booking via online travel agencies (OTAs) while 29% book via travel agents or operators. Around 20% of them book via travel agents (Hospitalitynet).
- Demographical data shows that people under 35 years of age are more inclined to use OTAs for booking hotel rooms (Hospitalitynet).
- The average browser abandonment rate for OTAs lies at approximately 81%, indicating how travelers frequently use online travel booking websites to find and compare options (Salecycle).
- In a scenario where prices are identical on hotel websites and OTAs, 70% of respondents will book via an OTA (Hospitalitynet).
- Some of the biggest reasons why people prefer OTAs are the security, convenience, loyalty discounts, and credible online reviews that they offer (Hospitalitynet).
- Booking trends indicate that 12% of travelers think booking websites should provide a much faster and frictionless experience than booking directly on hotel websites (Hospitalitynet).
Travelers take a stand for sustainability
- 63% of travelers are willing to put in more effort to make more sustainable travel choices in 2022—a 10% increase from 2021 (Booking.com).
- 30% of travelers are intending to make more sustainable decisions when planning trave regardless of if it inconveniences them (The Vacationer).
- 52% are planning to make more sustainable decisions when planning travel only if it doesn’t inconveinecen them (The Vacationer).
- 57% of respondents would prefer to stay in accommodations with a sustainability certification (Booking.com).
- 87% of travelers want to travel in a sustainable way (TravelAgentCentral).
- 81% of travelers surveyed reported that sustainable travel is important to them. Of that lot, 50% say that headlines about alarming climate change events have influenced their decisions to make more eco-friendly travel plans (Booking.com).
- 59% of travelers surveyed wish to leave a destination better than how it was when they arrived. To that end, 33% prefer to travel beyond the peak season to ensure they don’t contribute to overcrowding (Booking.com).
- 7% of survey participants cited ‘sustainability and carbon footprint’ as their most important consideration when booking travel (The Vacationer).
- The factors that inspire travelers to travel sustainable are:
- Being impressed by natural sights during their own travels (60%).
- Noticing a visible impact of tourism in other destinations (54%).
- Seeing the positive effect of sustainable tourism (47%).
- Noticing the effects of unsustainable tourism in their home country (42%).
- Feeling guilty about their impact on the environment (32%).
- Global travelers are becoming increasingly attentive to how far they travel and what means they take to make the journey. 23% of them choose to minimize carbon footprint by picking a destination closer to home (Booking.com).
- Over one in five travelers visit travel sites to research public transport and bike rentals in the destination of choice (Booking.com).
- 33% of people would be willing to spend between $50 and $250 more on travel to lower the carbon footprint of the trip (The Vacationer).
- 23% of respondents consciously picked destinations closer to home for their travel plans in the last 12 months to decrease their carbon footprint (Booking.com).
- People who have stayed at a sustainable accommodation in the last 12 months did so to:
- Reduce environmental impact (41%)
- Experience the local culture (33%)
- Interact better with the community (31%)
- The global obstacles to traveling more sustainable are:
- Costs: more expensive options (42%)
- Information/lack of certification: not knowing how to make travel more sustainable (32%)
- Time constraints: sustainably traveling would be time consuming (22%)
- Destination: it limits the options (22%)
- Luxury/comfort: sustainable travel does not meet the level of comfort or luxury they’re used to (20%)
- Just above half (56%) of the respondents agreed that they don’t actively search for eco-friendly accommodation options, but they book one if it’s easily accessible (Booking.com).
Online travel booking is here to stay
Online travel booking changed the game for travel and made the travel management process a lot easier for travelers worldwide. As more and more people reconnect with travel—OTAs are sure to see an increase in traffic and interest.
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