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A global study into how OTAs bridge Australia to the world

By Abhijit Pal, Head of Research, Lodging Partner Services, Expedia Group

The tourism industry is a key driver of Australia’s economy, contributing $55.3 billion to the nation’s GDP (3.1% of the national total) and employing more than half a million people[1]. It is an important contributor to the nation’s continued economic strength, and should not be undervalued.

Digital disruption has fundamentally changed the way consumers behave, and the tourism sector, like many others, has had to adapt. In today’s highly connected world, there is no longer such a thing as a ‘typical traveller.’

Instead, a potential traveller can come from hundreds of different countries, search for travel across 10 different sources and use up to five different device types throughout their research and booking process.[2]

In light of this, the value of OTAs has been challenged many times over the last 12 months, so now more than ever it’s important to understand the economic impact they have on economies.

According to this new study from BVA BDRC on behalf of Expedia Group, it is clear that OTAs are a significant contributor to Australian tourism.

In fact, the study found:
● OTA bookers support one in four Australian tourism jobs[3]
● 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

Methodology and Demographics
BVA BDRC gained insight into the spending behaviours of international and domestic travellers by surveying them at the point when they were purchasing the air travel component of their booking. A consumer research panel was also used to capture the behaviours of Australian domestic travellers who had not flown on their last trip. This ensured the research included information from travellers who used a wide variety of travel research and booking options and was therefore fully representative of the Australian population. All domestic travellers were required to have stayed in paid-for accommodation for at least one night in the past year. The total sample size (n=1162) was compiled of n=437 international travellers and n=725 domestic travellers, equally distributed across both males and females. Currency: Monetary values noted are expressed in Australian dollars.

Download the research paper with the full study results.

 

[1]Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2018
[2]Expedia Group internal estimate, 2018
[3]BVA BDRC research estimation 2019

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