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New PhoCusWright Research: APAC’s Emerging Markets Pushing Region’s Online Penetration

September 1, 2014 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

The Asia Pacific (APAC) travel market is in the midst of a huge and rapid shift from offline to online and mobile channels. Although online travel penetration is increasing at a slower pace than in prior years, a new PhoCusWright study, “Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition” (, shows that APAC’s online bookings are skyrocketing — increasing at twice the rate of the overall market.

One quarter of the total APAC travel market was booked online in 2013, up from one fifth in 2012. This growth rate is expected to continue through 2016, when nearly one third of APAC travel will be booked online.

Suppliers and online intermediaries across the region are driving this adoption as they tap pent-up demand in the underpenetrated, emerging online travel markets of China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan. Additionally, online travel agencies (OTAs) are incenting travelers to book online with discounts and promotional offers.

Mobile bookings are growing even faster, and travel suppliers are adapting their distribution strategies to compete for smartphone bookings. Aggregate APAC mobile travel gross bookings doubled from US$3.2 billion in 2012 to $6.4 billion in 2013.

Most of APAC’s travel markets grew in local currency terms, but weakened exchange rates had a dampening effect across the region. APAC total travel gross bookings shrunk 1% from $325.9 billion in 2012 to $322.6 billion in 2013, slipping one spot behind Europe’s travel market. However, assuming stable foreign exchange conditions, the region is expected to bypass Europe in 2014 to reclaim its title as the world’s largest regional travel market.

PhoCusWright’s “Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition” provides travel companies and marketers with a comprehensive view of the region’s travel market performance from 2012 to 2016. The report provides market sizing and aggregate gross travel bookings of Asia Pacific-based travel suppliers, covering 13 APAC countries’ leisure and unmanaged business travel. It delves into trends, individual market dynamics, projections through 2016, and key findings from various segments and countries.

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