The online travel agency marketIn recent times, it has become more and more common for consumers to book trips themselves, particularly via OTAs. These online companies offer the comfort of booking from home and often entice consumers with package deals and price-saving options. As a result, many travelers have turned away from traditional brick-and-mortar travel agencies in favor of online alternatives to book their trips. As of 2021, two-thirds of revenue in the global travel and tourism market came from online sales channels. In that year, the online travel market size worldwide was roughly 433 billion U.S. dollars and it was forecast to reach approximately 691 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.
When looking at the leading companies in the OTA market, Booking Holdings and Expedia were the biggest online travel agencies by revenue worldwide in 2021, generating nearly 11 billion and 8.6 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. While both companies experienced a substantial increase in revenue over 2020, they did not catch up yet with pre-pandemic levels. Another online travel company that has grown exponentially over the past years is Airbnb, which provides a vacation rental online marketplace that primarily offers homestays. The gross booking value of Airbnb bookings worldwide peaked at around 47 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, bouncing back after the sharp drop recorded in the first year of the health crisis.