Forecast Report

US Online Travel Forecast, 2008 To 2013

Online Sales To Grow 5% In 2009, Despite Weaker Overall Industry Revenues

January 20th, 2009
With contributors:
Vikram Sehgal , Carrie Johnson , Kate van Geldern , Elizabeth Stark

Summary

2009 will be another tumultuous year for the US travel industry. Difficult-to-get financing, higher unemployment, tightened corporate travel budgets, and a financially paralyzed consumer who will travel less often and spend less on her trips will cause overall US travel spending to contract from $312 billion in 2008 to $301 billion in 2009, although Forrester currently expects travel spending to rebound starting in 2010 and continue upward through 2013. Online, the outlook is brighter. Online leisure, unmanaged business, and managed business travel spending will increase from $111 billion in 2008 to $117 billion in 2009 and reach $158 billion by 2013. Two major factors contribute to this shift: modestly more people who buy travel online (Bookers) and a continuing shift in sales from offline channels to the Web. Forrester sees three near-term implications of this tough environment: a tougher selling environment for technology vendors, the need for investors to focus on niche opportunities, and the necessity for travel eBusiness executives to focus on retaining the Bookers they have.

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