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E-tourism in France continues to grow strong. This is the central theme of the 12th edition of the “French Online Travel Overview”, a study conducted by Phocuswright, a travel market research company.
Despite the complicated year, the total French travel market (offline and online) increased by 3% in 2016, reaching 45.3 billion euros. E-tourism is growing faster, with an increase of 8% last year. The outlook for the following years is in line with this same trend, until a slight slowdown in growth which is expected in 2020 (+5%).
According to the study, the online market penetration rate reached 45% in 2016 (4 points below the European average) and will climb to 52% by 2020.
In the case of online travel agencies (OTAs), their number has decreased as a result of consolidation movements. Compared to global online sales, OTA's market share is expected to erode slightly from 39% in 2016 to 37% in 2020. Suppliers with their own websites are performing even better than OTAs thanks to their efforts to boost direct sales.
The report also predicts that the reservations from tour operators will increase slightly in 2020, reaching 4.9 billion euros.
The hotel industry which has suffered greatly from the terrorist attacks, remains fragmented. OTAs dominate the industry, with Booking at the forefront, expected to monopolize 26% of global hotel bookings in 2020.
Regarding the devices most popular for e-tourism in France, mobile use is still booming (+24% in 2016), while the user experience on hand-held devices is improving fast.
The study was carried out through ninety interviews of European companies from different industries: airlines, TO, railway carriers, OTAs, technology providers.