Global annual digital travel sales to rise 14% to $565 billion

Worldwide digital travel sales will rise almost 14% this year to $565 billion, estimates eMarketer.

Double-digit growth in emerging markets, particularly those in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, will help fuel these gains, according to Worldwide Digital Travel Sales: The Complete eMarketer Forecast for 2016.

The market research firm has revised its projections upward for worldwide digital travel sales growth for the entire forecast because of strong 2015 sales growth in China.

Rising income and an increased appetite for leisure travel among “middle-class” consumers in the country will drive this rapid expansion. By 2020, global sales will top $817 billion, says eMarketer.

Digital travel sales in Asia-Pacific will see the fastest growth throughout the forecast, while sales will climb at a much slower pace in North America and Western Europe.

North America will remain the largest regional market in terms of digital travel sales in 2016, but it will be eclipsed by Asia-Pacific in 2017.

Asia-Pacific’s share of the total market will rise from 31.5% this year to 40.2% by 2020, contributing the largest portion to worldwide travel sales by the end of the forecast.

Mobile will drive digital travel sales in the US and other more established markets. US mobile travel bookings will reach $65.01 billion in 2016, or nearly 36% of the country’s total digital travel sales.

Estimates for worldwide digital travel sales have been lowered since eMarketer’s previous forecast because of updated exchange rates.

For this forecast, it used average exchange rates for 2015, which saw many global currencies losing value against the US dollar.

The projections, which run to the end of 2020, include breakouts by region and country.

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