China, India and much of Southeast Asia are on a rapid growth swing
Online travel continues to catch on in Asia-Pacific countries, and PhoCusWright expects sales across the region to increase from $79 billion in 2012 to $91 billion in 2013, according to the “Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview, Fifth Edition” report from August 2012. This 15% growth rate for online travel sales is nearly double the growth rate of overall travel sales, albeit coming from a much smaller base.
The confluence of increasing wealth among middle-class consumers and greater internet penetration in emerging Asia-Pacific countries has led to the rapid increase in online travel sales. PhoCusWright’s report also noted that China, India and Southeast Asia (including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand) would gain share of overall online travel sales in the region between 2011 and 2013, with China seeing the biggest jump from 14% to 17%. Maturing travel markets like Japan and Australia/New Zealand will see their market share of online travel sales decline during this time as growth in those countries levels off.
Looking further ahead, eMarketer’s digital travel sales forecast from January 2013—which includes online, tablet and smartphone bookings—reflects these trends as well. By 2016, digital travel sales in China will increase from about $33.3 billion in 2012 to nearly $50 billion by 2016, eMarketer estimates. India’s digital travel sales will nearly double between the end of 2012 and 2016 from $9.61 billion to $18.65 billion. Japan, on the other hand, will see a much smaller increase in digital travel sales during that timeframe—growing from about $46 billion in 2012 to $54.2 billion by 2016.
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