Published on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Found: bright spot in ailing travel industry

The travel environment remains “surprisingly difficult” everywhere in the world but online travel agency (OTA) bookings should continue to be a bright spot, says a new study by PhoCusWright Inc.

“The main online travel agencies should benefit from the ongoing secular shift in transactions from traditional points of purchase toward the Internet,” said Jack Fuller, the author.

He also cited a better-than-expected domestic leisure travel season as another factor improving the outlook for online.

“While we still expect the main players (Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity) to report a decline in 2009 gross bookings (versus 2008), that decline should be in the single digits, versus a double-digit decline for the underlying travel sector,” he said.

He foresees continued declines for the travel sector through the rest of the year but predicts online travel agencies should return to growing by the end of the year.

“We expect gross bookings to be up in 2010,” he said.

He predicted OTA bookings would be down 2 percent in the domestic market and down 9 percent internationally.

He also predicted the overall travel industry would be down 15 to 20 percent this year with far less of a drop -- four percent -- in OTA gross bookings this year.

by David Wilkening

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  • " EXPERTS ..."

    "X" is a quantity unknown & a 'spurt' is a DRIP , under pressure ! Sounds just like this 'report'... NONSENSE

    By Ramon Wilson, Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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