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The digitalization of the travel industry is entering a whole new phase. After a few U.S. and European companies kicked off the online travel market in the mid-1990s, mobile travel apps shook up the digital tourism experience in the second half of the 2000s. Now, the recent boom of generative artificial intelligence promises to revolutionize again the way we plan and book trips online. While the use of AI in travel and tourism is still at an early stage, online travel agencies (OTAs) are already experimenting with AI-powered chatbots, mainly focusing on tools that suggest trip itineraries and facilitate bookings. Meanwhile, travel marketers are watching closely how planning and booking via AI could impact the search engine market, whose dominance has so far been unchallenged. As estimated by Statista, the combined expenditure on Google advertising of leading OTAs worldwide exceeded eight billion U.S. dollars in 2023. This figure shows that online travel companies still rely heavily on search engine marketing to drive consumers to their websites in a highly competitive landscape.

What are the most visited travel websites?

In 2024, Booking.com was by far the most visited travel and tourism website worldwide, surpassing by a wide margin Tripadvisor’s global web page, which ranked second. The site is owned by Booking Holdings, the leading global OTA based on revenue, ahead of Expedia Group and Airbnb. According to Statista’s Consumer Insights Global survey, Booking.com, Hotels.com (an Expedia Group’s company) and Airbnb were also the main brands used for hotel and private accommodation online bookings in the United States in 2023. That said, it is worth noticing that while these companies have a particularly strong presence in North America and Europe, consumers in other large markets like China and India often prefer to rely on local OTAs. For instance, when looking at hotel and private accommodation online bookings in China, seven in ten respondents indicated Ctrip, a brand of Chinese company Trip.com Group, whereas less than 20 percent of the sample reported using Airbnb.

The impact of social media on travel

Following the rise of the mobile travel market and before the recent developments in AI, the biggest impact on the online travel industry came undoubtedly from social media, now a key component of the entire digital travel experience. In a 2023 study on the importance of digital media among destination marketing organizations worldwide, social media advertising emerged as more important than search engine marketing and programmatic advertising. Similarly, when exploring the main digital transformation topics among accommodation businesses in Europe in 2023, social media marketing topped the list, mentioned by over a third of respondents. As with online travel bookings, however, regional differences also come into play when considering the influence of social media on travel. In a 2023 survey on the main resources used for trip inspiration worldwide, nearly half of travelers in the United Arab Emirates said to use TikTok for that purpose, compared to less than 10 percent in the United Kingdom.

This text provides general information. Statista assumes no
liability for the information given being complete or correct.
Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date
data than referenced in the text.

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شركة النمر هي شركة متخصصة في تصميم وادارة المواقع الالكترونية والارشفة وكتابة المحتوى والتسويق الالكتروني وتقدم العديد من خدمات حلول المواقع الالكترونية والتطبيقات وهي شركة رسمية ومسجلة منذ عام 2015.

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