Study: European on-line market to triple by '02

SHERMAN, Conn. -- The European Online Travel Marketplace Report, published by the research firm PhoCusWright, estimated that the European on-line travel market will more than triple from an estimated $2.9 billion worth of bookings in 2000 to more than $10.9 billion in 2002.

Sound like a lot?

The numbers might look impressive, but according to Lorraine Sileo, vice president, information services, "On-line travel in Europe is just a fraction of the entire European travel market -- 1% or under.

"Even the major airlines claim that on-line [bookings] represent only 1% of their total bookings, although they expect that percentage to grow to 20% to 50% in [the next] three to five years."

In contrast, in the U.S., Sileo said that on-line bookings comprise 7% of travel revenue.

The report contained several findings that create a distinct picture of the on-line travel business in Europe, including the following:

  • Unlike in the U.S., where agencies reign in the on-line travel world, supplier Web sites dominate the on-line travel market in Europe.
  • Airlines, tour operators, hotels, railways and car rental companies represented 74% of the European on-line travel market in 2000.

  • Airline Web sites and tour operator sites controlled 28% and 27%, respectively, of the market in 2000. On-line travel agencies earned a 26% market share; railways, 9%; hotels, 7%, and car rental companies, 3%.
  • earned the top spot among on-line booking agencies in Europe, with $150 million in projected gross bookings.
  • The acquisition of Degriftour by made Lastminute the second-largest on-line travel agency in Europe, with estimated combined gross bookings of $116 million. ranked third.

    All of these companies are based in the U.K., where laws are the most conducive in Europe to on-line commerce, said Sileo.

  • Airline Web site sales totaled $810 million in 2000, and $382 million of airline tickets were sold through on-line travel agencies.
  • The two airlines with the most on-line bookings -- EasyJet and Ryanair -- book 100% of their Internet sales via their own Web sites. Each sells at least half of all its tickets on line.

    For additional information, contact PhoCusWright at (860) 350-4084, or log on to

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