Thursday, July 10th, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

The news that US-based online travel booking service Expedia is on the verge of taking over Aussie-owned Wotif.com Holdings has far-reaching implications for the Australian travel industry. Roy Morgan Research considers how this union might change the playing field.

The news that US-based online travel booking service Expedia is on the verge of taking over Aussie-owned Wotif.com Holdings has far-reaching implications for the Australian travel industry. Roy Morgan Research considers how this union might change the playing field.

Travel agents used for leisure travel in the last 12 months

travel-agent-chart

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2013 – March 2014 (n=17,773).

Wotif.com was used by 6.4% of Australians to book leisure travel or accommodation, making it the country’s second-most popular travel agent. Used by 2.3% of Aussies, Expedia.com.au came in fifth. Wotif-owned Lastminute.com.au (2.1%) and Expedia-owned Hotels.com (1.7%) also featured in the Top 10. Overall, these four travel-booking websites (represented by the blue bars on the chart) were used by 9.3% of the population (or 1,792,000 people).

With global reach and more than 20 different partner websites (not all of them travel-related), Expedia is by far the larger company. But until now, its influence in the Asia-Pacific region has not been as strong as in other regions. By taking over Australia’s top travel booking site, it looks set to expand its presence here and grow the Wotif brand.

As if traditional bricks-and-mortar agencies didn’t already have enough to worry about…

Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Pending shareholder approval, the sale of Wotif.com Holdings to travel-booking giant Expedia for $703 million spells a new era for online travel services in Australia. Expedia has the resources that Wotif.com needs to capture a greater share of the international market, raise brand awareness and remain competitive in an ever-changing market.

 

“Besides its namesake site, the Wotif group encompasses several other travel booking websites catering to the Asia-Pacific region, all of which represent exciting expansion possibilities for Expedia.

 

“By joining forces, these two travel behemoths will form a truly dynamic duo with the potential to transform how Australians research, book and manage their holidays.”

Read this release in full on our website.

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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Keywords

expedia, wotif, travel, tourism, business

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