Merrill Lynch today released some heady numbers for online commerce's impact on the travel industry.
It forecast that 30 percent of all travel transactions in 2005 will occur online, up from 25 percent in 2004 and 21 percent in 2003. This number is expected to grow to 39 percent by 2007.
Search marketing appears to be driving much of this growth, and search-related bookings will double yearly through 2007, Merrill Lynch forecasts.
If 40 percent of the total travel market is transacting online, and you are in the travel industry, it is worth it to consider how the Internet and your online initiatives are performing for you. Though it depends on your target audience and product market, it is an interesting exercise to evaluate what role the Internet is playing for your business.
If you have much less than 40 percent of your sales online, ask yourself why. Is it because you have a product or market that is better served with other channels? Or are you possibly missing something?
I would love to hear of anyone's experience with their online business initiatives -- do these numbers showing online travel growth match your own business experience?