Travel Intermediaries in Asia Pacific

August 2021

The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures taken to contain its spread on travel and tourism have had an adverse effect on travel intermediaries. Positioned as a convenient one-stop location for busy modern consumers to book all aspects of their trips, travel intermediaries suffered from the negative impact of the pandemic on all areas of travel and tourism. Even as domestic tourism began to see signs of recovery, travel agencies with a focus on outbound tourism continued to struggle.

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Key findings

Asia Pacific continues to lead the travel intermediaries market

Asia Pacific holds the largest share in travel intermediaries globally, having overtaken North America in 2015. Growth has been driven by fast-growing economies and a burgeoning middle class.

Significant growth in China

The strong growth in Asia Pacific has relied heavily on China, with many countries attracting Chinese travellers by relaxing visa requirements.

Capturing demand from intraregional travellers

As 74% of outbound tourists are intraregional travellers, it is critical for travel intermediaries to strengthen their overseas trip product ranges.

Online channel is the main sales driver

The substantial number of internet users in Asia Pacific and rapid technological development have led to strong expansion of OTAs and online channel development by traditional travel intermediaries.

Package holidays offer more

In order to compete with the growing international OTAs, national travel intermediaries are actively developing unique and themed package holidays, where travellers can enjoy an authentic experience in destination countries.

Threats from natural disasters, disease and political issues

With travel sales being sensitive to natural disasters, diseases and political issues, the recent COVID-19 outbreak is a serious concern to the tourism industry, as the number of trips is likely to be significantly affected.

Upcoming events in Asia Pacific

An increase in inbound travellers is expected as a result of events such as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and the World Expo 2025 in Osaka.

New players to heat up the price competition

With an increasing number of new players – OTAs, meta search platforms and even non-travel players – entering the market, severe price pressure is expected in the coming years.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Despite 2020’s decline, Asia Pacific remains the biggest region
Immediate return to positive growth expected in 2021
Sales in all countries fall off a cliff in 2020
Air travel badly hit by border closures and travel restrictions
Lodging sales record strong growth in China
Pandemic helps speed up digitalisation in travel intermediaries

Leading Companies and Brands

Increasing concentration being driven by China’s Ctrip
Ctrip continues gaining share
Booking Holdings has a wide regional presence
Ctrip continues to lead the brand rankings

Forecast Projections

Immediate return to positive growth expected from 2021…
…with digitalisation continuing to drive the industry

Country Snapshots

China: Market context
China: Competitive landscape
Hong Kong, China: Market context
Hong Kong, China: Competitive landscape
India: Market context
India: Competitive landscape
Indonesia: Market context
Indonesia: Competitive landscape
Japan: Market context
Japan: Competitive landscape
Malaysia: Market context
Malaysia: Competitive landscape
Philippines: Market context
Philippines: Competitive landscape
Singapore: Market context
Singapore: Competitive landscape
South Korea: Market context
South Korea: Competitive landscape
Taiwan: Market context
Taiwan: Competitive landscape
Thailand: Market context
Thailand: Competitive landscape
Vietnam: Market context
Vietnam: Competitive landscape


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