Online travel sales to increase further in 2008

With 58 billion Euros predicted to change hands in online travel by the end of 2008, e-commerce in Europe is set for another record year.

An increase of nearly 20% is predicted for this year as more and more travelers book their flights and holidays online.

Nordic travellers are expected to shell out more than 6 billion over the internet in 2008. Last year saw a 24% increase, pushing online travel turnover to 49.7 billion Euros, up from 39.7 billion in 2006. For the first time, online travel bookings accounted for 20% of total travel turnover.

By far the biggest group using their mouse to plan and pay for their holidays is the British, who account for 30% of the entire online travel market, followed by the Germans who make up a further 19%. Travellers from Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland collectively accounted for just 11%.

Most of the money was spent on air travel (57%), with the next highest expenditure seen in the competitive hotels sector (17%), while package tours accounted for 14%. The rest was made up mainly of other transportation such as rail, ferries and car hire.

Although annual growth in internet bookings has slowed from the heady days a few years ago which saw increases of around 50%, by the end of the decade it is predicted that 70 billion Euros is likely to be spent online, accounting for 25% of the entire market.