Online Travel Agent Impact ReportBy Matthew Petrie
Online Travel Agents (OTAs) have existed since the earliest days of the web. They have continuously pioneered new technology by creating a reliable platform that not only brings together different travel providers, but also one that delivers an increasingly consumer-friendly experience.
In order to determine the true economic impact of OTAs on the Australian market, BVA BRDC has conducted a global study, commissioned by travel technology platform Expedia Group, focused on travellers to and within Australia. The goal of the research was to understand the impact of OTAs on the economy, commercial accommodation providers, and the communities in which they operate more broadly.
For this study BVA BDRC employed their Air Passenger Survey Platform (APS) to reach verified air passengers globally after they have completed their flight itinerary purchase. This unique platform enables the study to reach target travellers across multiple countries/markets through one platform cost effectively. APS provides a population of verified leisure and business air passengers across age cohort, travel segment and class of cabin.
While this study launched in Australia, there are currently plans to conduct the research in five additional markets: United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, France and Japan.
Matthew Petrie, President of BVA BDRC Americas notes that, “Over time, the role of OTAs within the industry has cemented well beyond distribution. However, the question has arisen regarding what benefits these global OTAs provide to hotels. Our research set out to delve deeper into this issue, as well as the impact on tourism throughout Australia.”
Key Findings from the Study
The research found that OTAs are a key influence on the success of Australia’s tourism industry, specifically:
- OTA bookers support one in four Australian tourism jobs
- OTA bookers contribute $1 in every $4 international tourism dollars spent locally
- OTA bookers contribute $385 (19%) more to accommodation providers per trip by staying longer and spending more than non-OTA bookers
- OTA bookers generate a higher flow on economic impact by spending $275 (17%) more on in-trip activities and meals than non-OTA bookers
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