Traditional travel companies are likely to fuel the next stage of growth in the online travel industry in Europe, an influential report from the US has forecast.
A recent PhoCusWright report said operating giants such as TUI, Thomas Cook, MyTravel and Germany’s Rewe operation are beginning to make their presence felt on the web after learning to exploit their existing assets.
The report, European Online Travel Marketplace: Focus on the UK, said: “Brand consolidation and redeployment of charter and airline assets have helped these companies take advantage of their decades-old offline heritage and share in the wealth of the budget airline business.”
The report also highlights the gradual migration towards direct selling and operators estimate hotel sales through online agencies will fall by almost 15% by the end of 2007.
Traditional flag carriers are also predicted to bring new bookings to the web in the airline sector.
Praising British Airways for its online strategy, PhoCusWright added: “Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and others are striving to match the advances of BA.”