Executive Summary

Sep 2017

The 6% value growth registered by online travel sales to residents in 2017 is robust at first sight, although it hides growing signs of fragility. Firstly, online travel sales to residents recorded below-average growth and was not immune to the impact of terrorist attacks of 2016 – hence the modest value growth of 3% over 2015. Then, in spite of a more favourable context, 2017 was not an easy year for online players. The ongoing difficulties of Odigeo’s Go Voyages in 2017 revealed the fragility of medium-sized pure players against web giants, and a growing level of consumer dissatisfaction with some online travel agents. Finally, some players such as AirBnb in short-term rentals achieved strong growth on the back of the explosion of the sharing economy in France. However, this was at the expense of traditional hotels which are more expensive and impersonal than a privately-owned flat in Paris or Provence. By the same token, traditional car rental players increasingly bore the brunt of the competition from car sharing schemes, private car rentals and peer-to-peer car booking platforms – not included in this project. There were already 8,000 peer-to-peer/sharing economy websites in travel in France in 2016 and their effect on merchant travel online players is ambivalent.


Although they remain optimistic about the outlook for online travel sales to residents, most players are now more cautious. Online travel sales to residents is anticipated to record a value CAGR of 4% at constant 2017 prices over the forecast period. Although the penetration rate of e-tourism could surpass 50% in 2018 or 2019, a main challenge for the category will be the prohibitive cost of referencing and advertising on Google, Facebook and metasearch engines, and the indirect competition from these “partners”, which are progressively becoming real online travel agents. Experts deem that e-tourism is progressively entering a phase of maturity marked by the slowdown of pure players due to the counterattack of bricks-and-clicks operators and a subsequent new cycle of industry consolidation with mergers and acquisitions.

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The Online Travel Sales to Country Residents in France market research report includes:

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