Digital travel sales in APAC set to grow by 22.5% in 2017

Asia-Pacific is the most established digital travel sales region in the world with sales expected to reach $214.07 billion this year, marking a growth of 22.5% on last year, the latest report from eMarketer reveals.

Defining digital travel sales as bookings for airline, car rental, cruise, hotel, accommodations (including Airbnb) and transportation, the research firm says it estimates the industry growth based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies.

As a region APAC will account for almost 35.0% of all digital travel sales. APAC overtook North American digital travel sales spend for the first time in 2017.

APAC’s growth is attributed to China, which accounts for 18.5% of global digital travel sales. This year consumers in China will spend in excess of $113.0 billion on digital travel bookings, marking a yearly increase of 28.0%.

The report also expects to see significant growth in both India and Indonesia, this year they will grow by 33.0% and 17.7% respectively. India’s total digital travel sales will reach $22.52 billion, while Indonesia, which is operating from a much lower base, will reach $7.08 billion.

Jaimie Chung, forecasting analyst at eMarketer, says that with South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics in 2018 and Japan the Summer Olympics in 2020, there are increased efforts by the respective governments to bolster infrastructure in preparation. "The fact that these countries are already digitally transformed makes them attractive destinations for inbound travelers," she explained.