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Published on : Tuesday, December 29, 2015
As the world travel industry is reaping dividends from the digital revolution worldwide, it is predicted that the global digital travel sales will surpass $533 billion in 2015, a 13.3% increase from 2014. According to the eMarketer projections, sales will rise steadily through 2019, driven by the expansion of digital travel purchasing in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. By 2019, worldwide digital travel sales will top $762 billion.
Digital travel sales in Asia-Pacific will total $139.12 billion in 2015, up 19.8% from 2014, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Worldwide Digital Travel Sales: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates and Forecast Through 2019.” eMarketer expects sales will climb by more than $75 billion over the next three years and by 2018, Asia-Pacific will surpass North America as the largest digital travel market in the world. Rapid economic development in China has created a large population of middle-class consumers with more disposable income to spend on leisure travel, which will be the main driver of the region’s growth. Additionally, gains in India and Indonesia will be contributing factors, but to a much smaller degree.
Latin America’s digital travel sales will post the fastest growth of any region worldwide in 2015, rising 20.3% to $29.97 billion. Its tally, however, will represent only 5.6% of total digital travel sales globally, better than only the Middle East and Africa (4.5%) and Central and Eastern Europe (1.8%).
Digital Travel Sales Worldwide, by Region, 2014-2019
In Central and Eastern Europe it will rise by 9.7% in 2015 to $9.71 billion. Total regional sales are so miniscule that they barely surpass total digital travel sales in India ($9.42 billion). The outlook for growth remains tepid as Russia, the largest market in the region, is undergoing persistent political and economic instability. Outbound travel sales will likely be negatively affected by Russia’s travel bans to Ukraine, Egypt and Turkey.
North America, one of the most developed markets, will remain the largest market for digital travel sales globally this year. Double-digit growth will push the sales above $179 billion in 2015, accounting for over one-third of the worldwide total. The pace of growth is slowing, however, as the market reaches maturity. eMarketer expects sales growth in North America to fall into the single digits in 2016.
Much like North America, Western Europe’s digital travel market is well-established. By the end of 2015, digital travel sales in Western Europe will total $151.73 billion, up 8.0% from the previous year. The market will see slowing growth over the next few years, with digital sales expected to total $185.52 billion in 2019.