60+ online travel booking statistics & trends

02 Jul 2024 · 10
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 travellers find and pay for their trips.
We’ve compiled over 60 statistics and travel trends from the online travel booking market to take a look at travellers’ preferences and behaviours.
These online travel booking statistics will give you a peek into the most popular trends in the tourism industry with meaningful insights into traveller 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 $667.55 billion (~£528 billion) in 2023. The travel industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.99% between 2023 and 2030—when it’s expected to hit $1569.25 billion (~£1241 billion).
  • China has the highest growth potential in the online travel booking industry. This growth can be attributed to the growth of the middle-class income group, an increase in disposable income and wider access to the Internet.
  • Flight demand in 2023 was roughly 95% of what it was before the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In the six surveyed countries, 50% of travellers planned to travel more in March and May 2023, compared to the same period the previous year.
  • 31% of those who changed their travel plans in 2023 planned to reduce travel or take shorter trips due to increasing cost-of-living prices, while 27% opted for booking closer-to-home trips.
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How people book—researching and buying behaviours

  • According to the Trends Global Survey, 80% of global travellers surveyed feel it’s important to be able to book their trips entirely online, with 86% of Millennials and 83% of Gen Zers leading the charge.
  • 76% of global travellers said they look for travel apps that reduce the friction and stress of travel.
  • Last year, the top five online resources used by most travellers were: OTAs (80%), search engines (61%), social media (58%), airline websites (54%) and meta-travel websites (51%).
  • Travellers spent over 5 hours consuming online travel content to seek inspiration and plan their trip in the 45 days before finally booking their journey.
  • Social media had the greatest influence on leisure travellers’ travel destinations, with 75% of travellers saying social media posts inspired their trips to a specific destination in 2023. 
  • Most American travellers (92%) in 2023 said that they wanted to save on travel by focusing on accommodation prices instead of amenities (39%) and driving instead of flying (35%). 
  • After price and location, here are the main things travellers considered when booking accommodation in 2023:
    • Reviews from other travellers (29%) 
    • Free WiFi (24%)
    • Accommodation facilities (23%)
    • Room photos (22%)
  • In the consideration stage of planning and , videos and photos are the two most critical factors that affected global travellers’ decisions in 2022. They also looked at a hotel’s ability to showcase its amenities and guest experience while deciding on a place to stay.
  • Three of the most impactful deal breakers for most travellers were bland and unappealing hotel rooms, non-aesthetic food photos and boring content presentation.
  • 17% of people in the United States have bought some form of travel app subscription to help them plan their travels in 2022.
  • By June 2023, travel app log-ins were 87% higher than by the end of 2019.
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Online booking statistics indicate a renewed outlook of travellers worldwide

  • In 2023, a large majority of travellers (72%) said they preferred to book their trips online, compared to only 12% that preferred using a travel agency.
  • Of those that book travel online, 53% cited it’s because of the speed at which they can plan their trip (perfect for last-minute trips), 47% said it’s easier to compare prices and 42% said it’s better to find cheaper deals.
  • It’s forecasted that 76% of total revenue in the tourism and travel sector will be generated through online sales by 2028.
  • Monday was the most popular day for booking travel, and Saturday was the quietest day.
  • 63% of travellers believed technology plays a key role in controlling health risks during trips and reduces travel anxiety in a post-pandemic world.
  • The percentage of shoppers that abandoned their travel purchase was 85% for desktop users and 91% for those buying on a mobile device.
  • In 2023, 48% used their mobile device for destination research, 47% to compare transport and accommodation prices and 40% to book flights and hotels.
  • 97.8% of travel executives stated that AI would have an impact over the next 1-5 years in the industry.
  • Over a fifth (22%) of global travellers have used ChatGPT or similar AI chatbots to plan travel.
  • Four out of five travellers who booked online visited an OTA "at some point" before booking, "even if travellers booked on another website."
Sources: , , , , , , ,
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Biggest blockers and frustrations in online travel booking

  • 45.1% of travellers said they were concerned about how much data companies hold on them in 2023 and only 23.1% felt in control of their data.
  • In a study of 15,000 Tripadvisor reviews, it was found that flight irregularities emerged as the most discussed topic (36%) for travellers, compared to 20% in 2019.
  • 43% of Americans didn’t like booking travel, including 23% of GenZ travellers. The experience gap between booking travel and actually travelling is notably high.
  • One in three travellers prioritised flexibility over all other factors when making reservations.
  • 74% of travel agents surveyed believed buying and selling travel plans could be simplified. 86% of agents were in favour of modernising the user experience to boost online travel sales.
  • One of the biggest factors hampering travel bookings was the lack of transparency. Comparing too many options is challenging and becomes a roadblock.
  • A third of families considered the process of searching for the best flights and making online hotel bookings extremely time-consuming—23% of them didn’t enjoy booking trips.
  • 43% of business travellers felt frustrated that the search function of travel sites was limited to the budget or the date.
  • 60% of surveyed travellers believed travel options were filled with hidden costs and were not upfront enough.
  • 45% of travellers preferred booking a trip from start to finish from a single website that presents options for flights, accommodations, car rentals and extras.
  • Millennials booked their travel needs via travel agencies. They’d book their hotel via travel agencies, however, 52% would look at the hotel’s website for more information.
  • Users spent, on average, 40% more via desktop than mobile devices when booking online. SaleCycle said that “perhaps users feel more comfortable booking high-ticket holidays on a bigger screen.”
Sources: , , , , , ,

Travel booking is going mobile

  • People used mobiles to browse more than purchase since 60% of all online traffic came from mobile, however, desktop accounted for 62.5% of online sales.
  • The mobile users’ average online order value has grown by 29% since 2020. 
  • The mobile travel booking market is projected to grow at an anticipated value of $612.5 billion (£484.5 billion) by 2031.
  • In 2020, the gap between desktop and mobile booking sales was 75% compared to 2022 where the gap was reduced to 40%.
  • Almost one-third (32%) of travellers used a website through a mobile device to book travel and 23% used a mobile app directly in 2023.
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How is online business travel booking evolving

  • 87% of business travellers and corporate travel managers wanted more simplified booking services and processes. 42% of them thought booking a trip was actually more challenging than travelling itself.
  • 82% of travel agents reported a need for digital retailing for both leisure and business travel. A better customer experience is a priority for both types of travel.
  • Travel booking fell short of the top three easiest buying experiences behind booking a restaurant online, buying clothes online and browsing and buying electronic/physical goods online.
  • For 38% of respondents, the average frequency of business trips was once every 2-3 months. 32% travelled once or twice every month for business purposes.
  • Business travellers spent 52 days getting inspired and planning their trip, and 43 days between booking and starting their trip.
  • 87% of employees think that in-person meetings and business travel are important to company growth.
  • However, despite there being more interest in business travel, companies were worried about their carbon footprint. In fact, four in 10 European companies and a third of American companies said they needed to reduce travel per employee by more than 20% to meet their 2030 sustainability targets.
  • In 2024, 63% of companies are investing more in sustainable travel and 80% of business travellers want more sustainable options when booking.
  • 88% of corporate travellers want full transparency into what they are buying when buying online.
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Role of online travel agents in a post-pandemic world

  • 41% of those surveyed preferred booking via while 29% booked via travel agents or operators. Around 20% of them booked via travel agents.
  • Demographical data from North America showed that people under 35 years of age were more inclined to use OTAs for booking hotel rooms.
  • The average browser abandonment rate for OTAs was approximately 81.54%, indicating how travellers frequently used online travel booking websites to find and compare options.
  • In a scenario where prices are identical on hotel websites and OTAs, 70% of respondents said they would book via an OTA.
  • Some of the biggest reasons why people preferred OTAs were the security, convenience, loyalty discounts and credible online reviews that they offered.
  • Booking trends indicate that 12% of travellers thought booking websites should provide a much faster and more frictionless experience than booking directly on hotel websites.
  • Out of the 141 pages that travellers looked at 45 days before travelling, OTAs were the most viewed (67), followed by airline websites (33).
  • OTA’s are used by 80% of travellers before making any purchase.
  • 61% of travellers visited an OTA before making a booking on a hotel site.
Sources: , ,
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Travellers take a stand for sustainability

  • 74% of travellers thought people needed to make more sustainable choices to save the planet for future generations.
  • 64 % of American travellers said in 2023 that they were looking for accommodation establishments with high sustainability innovation and practices.
  • In 2023, 49% of travellers believed more sustainable travel options were too expensive, however, 43% said they were willing to pay extra for travel options with a sustainable certification.
  • In 2022, 66% of travellers wanted travel companies to offer more sustainable travel choices. However, in 2023, that number increased to 74%.
  • 76% of global travellers wanted to travel more sustainably in 2023.
  • More than half (51%) of travellers said there weren’t enough sustainable travel options and 43% could recall seeing at least one product or service on a travel website that had to do with sustainable travel.
  • Almost two-thirds of travellers (61%) said they wanted to use more environmentally-friendly modes of transport, like trains.
  • Almost 80% of travellers said they were willing to spend at least 10% more for eco-tourism and adventure travel in 2023.
  • Global travellers were increasingly attentive to how far they travelled and what means they would take to make their journeys. 23% of them chose to minimise their carbon footprint by picking a destination closer to home.
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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 travellers worldwide. As more and more people reconnect with travel—OTAs are sure to see an increase in traffic and interest.
If it’s business travel you’re booking, look no further than TravelPerk. Easily book and manage your business travel, and enjoy flexible options at industry-leading rates. Plus, the platform’s top-notch support team is with you every step of the way.
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