Travel suppliers in Europe have been told to expect a slight rise in their online bookings for 2015 as a new study on the market tips growth of 7% for the year. 

Global travel research firm PhoCusWright believes year-on-year growth of 8% for bookings in 2013 won’t be far off this year despite economic and geopolitical challenges in certain territories.

This figure was reached in a period of much change for the travel industry, which has benefited immensely from innovation across many of its major segments. Among those, hotels and airlines have become much more adept at catering for travellers online, and their efforts appear to be translating into a steady rise in trips booked.

The balancing act

Unfortunately innovation in services will have little impact on markets currently being weighed down by their cash-strapped economies. The fiscal woes of France and Greece were cited by PhoCusWright as obvious blotches on the EU travel market’s copybook in 2014, where the group oversaw companies in the sector failing to build up a good head of steam.

However, with online travel bookings managing to surpass the 100 billion mark in 2013, analysts see advancements in service offered by providers leading to more growth on this side of the market. 

The way PhoCusWright’s research director Luke Bujarski sees it, companies will have enough going for them for a good few years yet, and especially those that can be found online. 

“While growth in the total travel market has slowed, there is still ample opportunity to shift market share between Europe’s many travel intermediaries and suppliers,” he commented. 

“How Europe’s leisure and business travellers choose to book their travel will continue to evolve toward digital channels, despite the nagging economic turmoil impacting the region.