Online strong despite slowdown

Online strong despite slowdown
By admin

The online travel market in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) will remain robust in 2013, despite a predicted slowing of growth, according to research firm PhocusWright.

ANZ's online travel market is projected to grow by 10% in 2013, almost twice the pace of the overall travel market, to total US$14.8 billion for the year. However, that increase is smaller that the 13% growth seen in 2011.

Analyst Chetan Kapoor confirmed the slowdown is because of ANZ's comparative maturity against emerging markets such as India and Taiwan which are expected to experience strong growth over the year.

"The Australian online market is reflective of Europe, the US and Canada in terms of its online behaviour," he told Travel Today.

A high rate of credit card penetration and the strong Australian dollar had seen the online market grow strongly, but those increases are difficult to maintain, he said.

But Kapoor stressed that despite the slowdown, the market continues to grow.

"People are still going online in Australia although it's slowing down," he said. "It continues to enjoy steady growth and the ripple effect of the strong dollar and people wanting to travel."

Kapoor highlighted a number of challenges such as economic and political issues, foreign exchange rates and natural calamities which make it difficult for any economy to maintain high growth levels indefinitely.

"All markets do slow down," he said. "It's just a matter of which markets slow faster."

In ANZ, online penetration of the total travel market is expected rise from 39% in 2012 to hit 41% in 2013 – significantly higher than the Asia Pacific average of 25%.

The Asia Pacific total travel market is expected to hit US$357 billion in 2013, with online travel to account for US$90.8 billion.

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