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Online travel agent market value now surpasses in-store within the UK, says GlobalData

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In order to succeed within today’s travel industry, the importance of holding an online platform could not be more crucial. Global online travel agent market value is forecast to reach US$372bn by 2023 in comparison to US$258bn in 2018, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

In the UK, 2018 marked the year when the market value of online travel agents (OTA’s) overtook in-store travel agents.

GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Impact of online travel’, reveals that evolving consumer attitudes are driving the increasing power behind the online travel industry. All destinations, whether identified as technologically advanced or still a developing economy are gradually adapting to online travel trends.

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “The UK is one of the most technologically advanced destinations and the growth rates for OTA market value is over double the rates for in-store travel agents during 2018 to 2023. OTA had a CAGR of 2.6% while in-store travel agents had a CAGR of 0.8%.”

According to GlobalData OTA’s are now the most typically booked provider with *39% of UK travelers using an OTA in 2019. Travelers can now generally handle all aspects of the booking themselves. Pre-booking, arranging accommodation, hotels, transport, in-destination navigation and post vacation reviews highlight that the 21st century traveler is not only more independent, but also more powerful than ever before.

Bonhill-Smith adds: “With the devastating collapse of Thomas Cook earlier this year, the UK travel market experienced a mighty blow. One of the key factors that contributed to the companies collapse looks to lack of innovation and investment in online travel trends.

“Hays Travel has now overtaken a large majority of their in-store agencies. However, in order to be a success, the agency needs to ensure that continual innovation and digitization are at the core of strategies in order to engage the UK traveler market as the market value of OTA’s continue to expand over in-store travel agents.”

*GlobalData’s Q3 consumer survey 2019