Online Travel Booking in Australia: Trends, Statistics, and Future
Online travel booking has become a norm in recent years, and the trend is only set to continue. In Australia, the online travel booking industry has grown significantly over the past decade, providing consumers with the convenience of booking their travels from the comfort of their homes.
The purpose of this article is to take a closer look at the online travel booking industry in Australia, including the historical overview, popular platforms, trends, the impact of COVID-19, consumer demographics and behavior, and the future of the industry.
Historical Overview of Online Travel Booking in Australia
Online travel booking in Australia has a rich history dating back to the early 2000s. Over the past decade, the industry has grown rapidly, with the market size increasing from $14.5 billion in 2015 to $35.1 billion in 2022. This growth is attributed to the increasing number of consumers who prefer the convenience and cost-effectiveness of booking their travels online.
Popular Online Travel Booking Platforms in Australia
The online travel booking industry in Australia is dominated by several popular platforms, including Expedia, Booking.com, and Wotif. According to a recent survey by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), Expedia and Booking.com are the most popular platforms, with a combined market share of 55% (Tourism and Transport Forum, 2020). Wotif follows closely behind with a market share of 20%. These platforms offer consumers a range of features and services, including the ability to compare prices, book accommodations, and plan itineraries.
Trends in Online Travel Booking in Australia
Australia’s online travel industry is led by several key trends: the rise of mobile bookings and the popularity of alternative accommodations, like homestays and serviced apartments. Mobile bookings are on the rise, with 72% of online travel bookings made on mobile devices in 2020, as people increasingly seek the convenience of booking on their smartphones. Additionally, 40% of online travel bookings in Australia in 2020 were for alternative accommodations as consumers search for unique and cost-effective travel experiences.
Impact of COVID-19 on Online Travel Booking in Australia
The pandemic hit the online travel booking industry in Australia hard, causing a sharp drop in the total travel bookings. TTF reports that bookings plummeted by 50% in 2020. However, the industry has adapted to changing circumstances by pivoting towards domestic travel and shorter trips.
Consumer Demographics and Behaviour
Online travel bookers in Australia are predominantly aged between 25-44, with 70% of online travel bookings in this age group (Google, 2020). Regarding gender, Australia’s online travel booking industry is relatively evenly split, with 50% of online travel bookings made by women and 50% made by men (Google, 2020).
Consumer Demographics and Behaviour
Age and Gender: Most online travel bookers in Australia are 25-44 years old, with an even split between males and females.
Budget and Preferences: The majority of online travel bookers in Australia have a budget of $1,000-$5,000 and prefer hotels and resorts for their accommodations, valuing comfort and convenience.
Purpose of Travel: Leisure travel, particularly holiday destinations, is the top reason for online travel bookings in Australia, followed by visiting friends and family and attending events and conferences.
Future of Online Travel Booking in Australia
Predicted Growth: Australia’s online travel booking industry is expected to grow at 4.0% annually until 2027, reaching $9.4 billion, says a report by IBISWorld.
New Technologies: Virtual and augmented reality are anticipated to be increasingly used in the online travel booking process, providing consumers with a more immersive and interactive experience.
Impact of Regulations: As the industry grows, consumer protection and data privacy regulations will become more important, with stricter laws and guidelines expected to be introduced.
As the online travel booking industry continues to evolve, the Australian market is poised for growth, providing exciting opportunities for players in the industry. With the increasing use of technology and changing consumer behaviour, the future of online travel booking in Australia is one to watch.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2021-22). Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account. ABS. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/national-accounts/australian-national-accounts-tourism-satellite-account/latest-release
- Online Travel Bookings in Australia industry trends (2017-2022) https://www.ibisworld.com/au/industry/online-travel-bookings/4163/