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This work was carried out through the Osint (Open Source INTelligence) techniques aimed at finding and analyzing useful information for the purposes of the research.

The analysis through open sources consists in the application of analytical methodologies for the collection, processing and analysis of information. The ultimate goal is to transform what is apparently a confused set of disconnected data, facts and news into exploitable knowledge, thus offering a context consistent with the objective of this report.

Some of the Osint sources include:

  • Scientific and technical commercial databases;
  • Official and unofficial data of institutional bodies;
  • Information from professional and academic sources;
  • Search engines, used both with Boolean operators and with advanced operators;
  • Meta-browsers;
  • Software for the analysis of the social graph;
  • Software for the analysis of metadata and geolocation;
  • Social network;
  • Domain intelligence tools;
  • Network analysis;
  • Newspapers and magazines, institutional publications.

Given the consistency of the information to be compared and considering any cases of harmony, we inform you that the processing may present limited cases of inaccuracies.

Market Research

The base year for data collection was 2019, due to the extraordinary impact of Covid-19 on the tourism and travel industry. However, for completeness, some of the trends that have arisen during the pandemic are also reported.

Online travel bookings have entered the international travel and tourism market decisively with a market size of 817 billion USD in 2020. Considering that the market in general is worth about 1.2 trillion USD, the online bookings segment is becoming increasingly important.

Online Travel Booking Statistics Infographic

Key Statistics

  • A massive 1.2 trillion USD is the market size of the travel & tourism industry.
  • Online travel bookings are worth 817 billion USD in 2020.
  • In 2019, online digital travel sales were worth 755 billion USD worldwide.
  • During 2020, the Covid-19 costs the travel sector an estimated loss of 700 billion USD.
  • A roughly 200 billion of online travel booking sales was from the US.
  • The 2019 saw a 15.4% growth in worldwide digital travel sales and a 10.3% growth in hotel digital bookings.
  • In terms of spending, online booking purchases of holidays cost more than 1,500 GBP  (70% of purchases), with the remaining 30% costing more than 2,500 GBP.
  • Private bookings are 66.7% of the total, agents and affiliates account for 24.3% and marketplaces for 9.1%.
  • In 2018, Agent, affiliates, and local tourist offices bookings increased from 17.5% to 24.3%.
  • By 2023, 700 million people will be booking their hotel rooms online.
  • Smartphones are the most used device (70%) to book holidays.
  • In the US, 83% of adults prefer to book online.
  • Consumers (33%) start to use virtual travel assistants to help organise and plan their trip.
  • Google keywords ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ have grown by more than 519% in the past five years.
  • When finalized, mobile booking usually happens (72%) within 2 days of a Google search.
  • Every year there are 148.3 million online travel bookings.
  • 52% of millennials browse the hotel’s website even when booking is made through online booking agencies.
  • In 2018, no human interaction transactions were made 82% of the time.

How many people book hotels online?

  • In 2022, it is forecasted that online hotel booking will be 174 million across the globe.
  • By 2023, 700 million people will make a hotel room booking online.
  • The total spending across the hotel industry booking in 2017 was 1.6 trillion USD.
  • The percentage of hotel bookings made online is 57%.
  • At least 1/3 of leisure travelers in the US have booked to stay in privately owned accommodation.
  • Most high-income travelers (67%) say they spend more willingly their money on an experience than on a better hotel room.
  • The majority of complaints (62%) occurred due to unfriendly staff.
  • Usually, those who book flights online do so 12 weeks before departure.
  • In the weeks just before departure, travelers’ searches focus on experiences.
  • Middle East travelers (53%) are booking via mobile.
  • In Asia, the figure is around 45%.
  • In Europe, 33% of travelers book their hotels and travel using a mobile device.
  •  In North America, this is 28% of travelers.

Travel industry market size

  • The travel industry market size is 1.2 trillion USD.
  • In 2019, the online travel market was worth 756 billion USD.
  • In 2018, 694 billion USD of digital worldwide travel sales were made, increasing by 10.4% YoY.
  • In 2020, the online travel market is worth 817 billion USD.
  • Almost 200 billion only from the US.
  • In terms of spending, online booking purchases of holidays cost more than 1,500 GBP  (70% of purchases), with the remaining 30% costing more than 2,500 GBP.
  • In 2020, Online travel agencies offering customers ‘a one stop shop’ own 41% of the online digital travel market.

Travel apps for booking

  • Usually, half of the travel apps are deleted within 1 month.
  • The feature most appreciated by users in travel apps is speed.
  • The reason for using an app (30%) is boarding passes, check-in, passbook.
  • 28% use travel apps for their live notifications.
  • 79% enjoyed status updates on their travel, 76% price changes, 68% sales, 68% reminders, 56% loyalty point updates.
  • The fact that it works offline is preferred by 26% of users
  • 21% of users believe that travel apps offer a better user experience.
  • Saving preferences is preferred by 17% of users
  • Being part of a loyalty or reward program is one of the reasons (11%) why travel apps are downloaded.

Mobile Usage

  • In 2018, 82% of all travel bookings were made online through travel sites or mobile apps.
  • Half of the users say they are happy to book their entire holiday online.
  • A big 25% of all travel-related research is done on a smartphone.
  • 70% of travelers say they enjoy “voice search” when planning a trip.
  • Users who text with hotel chatbots would be 30% more likely to spend more.
  • The majority of mobile bookings (72%) take place within a 24-hour window from the first searches
  • Almost all online bookings take place without any human interaction. Conversations from desktop occur 2.4% of the time, while from smartphones 0.7% of the time.
  • Apps sell more: the conversion rate is 5x higher than websites.

Hotel Recommendations and Reviews

  • Users who are asked to leave a review leave it 80% of the time.
  • About half of all users have written a review in the past year.
  • 93% of customers leave positive reviews.
  • Most users (90%) say online reviews impact their purchase decision.
  • Younger travelers are becoming more active and influential in the travel market
  • Still most GenX and millennials are suspicious of traditional advertising and prefer to rely on word of mouth.
  • Online travel agencies that still rely on stock photos and traditional advertising will find that their customer base is slowly eroding in 2020.
  • More than 70% of users don’t book online without doing research.
  • 15% of customers don’t trust businesses that don’t have reviews, while only 6% of people say they don’t trust customer reviews.
  • Only 22% leave a review without being asked.
  • In general, the reviews left by users are 95% positive and 5% negative.

Popular days for booking hotels and travel?

  • Online bookings are more likely to be made on Monday.
  • While the weekend is the time with fewer bookings of the week.
  • While 6 AM is the quietest time for online booking trends, while 10 AM is the busiest.
  • 90% of travelers expect a personalized online experience when they book their travel.
  • Surprisingly, users who book their experiences before leaving spend 47% more on accommodation and 81% more on travel than on-site bookers.

Best travel booking site

  • 325 million users use Tripadvisor monthly.
  • Most (80%) of Tripadvisor users spend 4 weeks researching before booking.
  • The most used site is Booking, with 443 million active users every month.
  • When travelers are asked which websites are better in terms of usability, Kayak, Booking, eDreams, Trainline, and Lastminute are mentioned.
  • 66.7% of online bookings are made through the hotel website.
  • Holiday packages are 80% booked online
  • 60% of those who book a vacation online say it is the most expensive purchase they have made online.


  • Half of Americans spend at least a week researching before booking their holidays.
  • Men book online less than women, with a percentage of 27% versus 67%.
  • In terms of popularity, beach holidays are 2.5x times preferred to city breaks.
  • On average, users spend 5 days searching for their holidays, almost the same time spent searching for a new car (6 days).
  • On average, visitors browse 38 websites (including OTAs, blogs, etc.) before booking a trip online.
  • Half of Brits feel safer booking travel via smartphone.
  • 55% of global travelers are now trying to make sustainable travel choices than they did a year ago.
  • Staying at least one time in the life in an environmentally or green accommodation is planned  by 73% of global travelers.
  • 70% of travelers could be influenced to book accommodation if they knew it was eco-friendly.

Future of Online Travel Industry

Looking to the future, etc. what are the main trends:

Sustainable Tourism

More than 70% of travelers want to travel sustainable, but there are still not many operators in the sector that offer eco-friendly services and methods.

Given that 87% of high-income travelers still think it is better to spend on an experience than on a hotel room, then the latter have no incentive to make their facilities better and sustainable.


We have already seen how users who interact with chatbots spend more. This latest technology will have an important future in the online travel industry.

Personalized Booking Experiences

Travelers need personalized services. Currently, very few companies offer such services. Someone is starting to enhance the customer experience in the various booking processes, but there are few options for those looking for personalized online experiences.

Biometric ID Management

Biometric passports are already used by 77% of US airports and another 71% have other R&D programs in the field. Without a doubt this will change the way travelers move around the world.