Online Travel Market Continues To Explode
Planning a trip abroad for the coming Christmas and New Year holiday season? In the old days, if you were a holidaymaker or a business traveller, you probably would have booked a trip through a travel agent and when you got to your destination, bought a map and rented a car to get yourself around.
Nowadays, many consumers use online booking applications such as Agoda or Booking.com and search for everything they need, from an air ticket and a car to a room, whether it be a five-star hotel in Bangkok, a holiday home in Phuket or a cosy apartment in another corner of the world. “The move to internet based travel booking is creating massive convenience, efficiency and savings for consumers,” Gillian Tans, CEO of the online accommodation booking website Booking.com, told Asia Focus. “Both business and leisure travellers are enjoying unprecedented levels of choice. They can access destinations around the world, even in some places that we consider new destinations for global tourism today.”
The digitisation of commerce, she says, has brought new opportunities, efficiency, savings and transparency. Individuals who own accommodations are also benefiting from the move of consumers to the internet. “We have many accommodation owners, people who own small hotels, villas and bungalows, and the digital economy has opened up a world of possibility for these business owners. Now, they can sell to and communicate with people around the world, and where Booking.com comes in is to help these accommodation owners adapt to the digital world.” Asia, and especially Southeast Asia, is one of the fastest growing regions for Booking.com. “There are more and more properties joining us to benefit from and leverage our global online marketing expertise and reach” said Ms Tans. “Meanwhile, consumers are very quickly adapting to the mobile marketplace and even broadband penetration is growing at a rapid pace in most markets.”
According to the Thai unit of Agoda, an online travel agency, the online booking market globally has been expanding at around 20% a year. Online travel booking is just one of the disruptive technologies transforming the way people consume. A similar shakeup is occurring in fields such as shopping, music and transport, according to HSBC. “We think the transformation will accelerate due to the demographic makeup of the world's consumers and further development in the digital technology space,” HSBC's James Pomeroy wrote in a recent report.
Companies like Booking.com and Agoda have had huge success in recent years by making their products available via affiliate sponsorship of websites large and small. They have, through extensive investment and ease of use, been able to gain ever expanding visibility and reach by making their affiliate marketing programs available to everyone from large multi-national corporates to small blogs and everything in between. RedEyeThai just another is an example of the ongoing success story that has given them unsurpassed visibility and reach in the rapidly expanding online travel market.