The use of the internet in tourism is growing dramatically as more and more people book their vacation packages, tickets and hotels online. According to Deutsche Welle, this phenomenon is also observed in relation to Greece, when strike mobilizations are on the rise. In these cases, tourists are concerned about keeping to the schedule of their holidays and trust the offices more after having been previously informed by the internet.
In the 2011/12 tourist season, the percentage of online bookings in Germany increased by 22% compared to the previous year, according to a survey by the Nuremberg-based GfK institute. About 37% of the Germans made use of the internet last year to book a holiday package or at least part of it. Particularly large is the increase in internet usage for bookings between the ages of 50 and 60. In fact, for trips to the USA, Britain and France, the percentage of online reservations exceeds 50%, points out the representative of GfK, Derte Nordbeck and explains: «This development is primarily due to the fact that the use of the internet has now expanded to many age groups. "Consumers have become accustomed to shopping online, from the books they order to their travels."
The increase in the rate of online tourist bookings in Germany is surprising. This is because German consumers are known for their special emphasis on the security of their transactions. They want the guarantee that the package they have booked corresponds to what they will find. And so far only travel agencies have offered this guarantee. «Internet travel portals are no longer anonymous. One can contact them through the call centers and express their complaint or claim compensation. But really, when it comes to expensive travel packages, luxury vacations or cruises, most go to travel agencies. ", explains Derte Nordbeck.
A large part of the interested parties combine the security of the travel agency with the abundance of internet offers. He then makes the reservation based on those criteria to which he gives weight. And as the GfK representative emphasizes: "There is a phenomenon that the interested party is informed from the internet and then for security reasons or because he has reservations to close the package that interests him in a travel agency. That is why it is so important for travel agencies to have an online presence. "
This phenomenon is also observed in relation to Greece, when strikes are on the rise. In these cases tourists are concerned about keeping to their holiday schedule and trust the offices more.
But also internationally there is an increase in online bookings at the expense of conventional ones. In Britain, in fact, travel agencies recorded a decrease in their turnover by 5% compared to the previous year. On the contrary, the internet increased by 8%. In the Netherlands, the turnover of travel agencies records a decrease of 13% this year, while online bookings remain stable.
One of the interesting findings of the research concerns the holiday budget for German tourists. During last season, they spent 1,000 euros per capita. «We also find in 2013 that the average amount spent on holidays has increased. This is due to two reasons. The first is related to the general increase in prices this year. On the other hand tourists are willing to spend more money on their holidays. This is demonstrated by the spectacular increase in demand in the category of packages of 2,000 euros and more ", emphasizes Derte Nordbeck.