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Travel agency industry - statistics & facts

Travel agencies are businesses that operate by selling tourism and travel-related services to the public on behalf of different travel suppliers. In addition to recreational tourist activities, they also provide accommodation and transportation services, as well as handling the logistics of booked trips, among other services. Travel agencies include both brick-and-mortar establishments and those based entirely online. The market size of the global online travel agency sector alone reached roughly 744 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. However, this number was expected to decrease in 2020 due to travel limitations as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Leading travel agencies worldwide

Though brick-and-mortar travel agencies have been a cornerstone of the industry since its inception, in recent years the rise of the online travel market has transformed this sector, with many travel agencies emerging solely as online entities which are referred to as online travel agencies (OTAs). In this respect, the leading travel companies by sales revenue worldwide in 2019, Expedia Group and Bookings Holdings, were such OTAs and operated fully online. While consumers can now book vacations with travel agencies and other travel companies completely online, they also have access to many travel websites that offer reviews of potential destinations. One such website is Tripadvisor, which was the most visited travel and tourism website worldwide as of 2021. Whereas the travel agency sector is currently largely web-based, other companies also rely on physical stores. This is the case of TUI AG, whose worldwide revenues reached almost 19 billion euros in 2019 before sharply declining in 2020 due to the health crisis.

How did COVID-19 affect the travel agency industry?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide travel was severely limited as countries made efforts to reduce the spread of the virus by enacting travel restrictions. This had a significant impact on all aspects of the worldwide travel industry, including travel agencies. The market size of the U.S. travel agency sector alone dropped by roughly 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 following a period of steady growth. Overall, many of the leading travel agencies were hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. The worldwide revenue of Booking Holdings dropped to under seven billion U.S. dollars after a steady period of growth lasting over ten years. Expedia Group also experienced similar losses that year, as Expedia’s worldwide revenue across all categories dropped.

Key figures

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Online travel agencies

Travel agencies and tour operators

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Travel agency industry".

Travel companies

Dossier on the topic

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Travel agency industry - statistics & facts

Travel agencies are businesses that operate by selling tourism and travel-related services to the public on behalf of different travel suppliers. In addition to recreational tourist activities, they also provide accommodation and transportation services, as well as handling the logistics of booked trips, among other services. Travel agencies include both brick-and-mortar establishments and those based entirely online. The market size of the global online travel agency sector alone reached roughly 744 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. However, this number was expected to decrease in 2020 due to travel limitations as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Leading travel agencies worldwide

Though brick-and-mortar travel agencies have been a cornerstone of the industry since its inception, in recent years the rise of the online travel market has transformed this sector, with many travel agencies emerging solely as online entities which are referred to as online travel agencies (OTAs). In this respect, the leading travel companies by sales revenue worldwide in 2019, Expedia Group and Bookings Holdings, were such OTAs and operated fully online. While consumers can now book vacations with travel agencies and other travel companies completely online, they also have access to many travel websites that offer reviews of potential destinations. One such website is Tripadvisor, which was the most visited travel and tourism website worldwide as of 2021. Whereas the travel agency sector is currently largely web-based, other companies also rely on physical stores. This is the case of TUI AG, whose worldwide revenues reached almost 19 billion euros in 2019 before sharply declining in 2020 due to the health crisis.

How did COVID-19 affect the travel agency industry?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide travel was severely limited as countries made efforts to reduce the spread of the virus by enacting travel restrictions. This had a significant impact on all aspects of the worldwide travel industry, including travel agencies. The market size of the U.S. travel agency sector alone dropped by roughly 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 following a period of steady growth. Overall, many of the leading travel agencies were hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. The worldwide revenue of Booking Holdings dropped to under seven billion U.S. dollars after a steady period of growth lasting over ten years. Expedia Group also experienced similar losses that year, as Expedia’s worldwide revenue across all categories dropped.

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