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BizReport : Ecommerce : March 12, 2007

European travel industry doing more business online

Europeans embrace online travel services and the convenience, control and cost savings it can offer.

by Helen Leggatt

More and more European tour operators are taking reservations online , according to recent research by the European Commission. Around 36 percent of tour operators, 62 percent of hotels and 40 percent of package deal operators have internet booking capabilities and of those, 28 percent receive a quarter of their bookings via this channel.

"Both sides win," said Joerg Menno Harms, vice-president of the German IT, telecommunications and new media industry lobbying group BITKOM. "While clients can review the various offers at their leisure, the companies cut distribution costs."

The trend of “dynamic packaging” within the travel industry enables consumers to mix and match holiday components such as transport, accommodation and itinerary in line with their needs and budget from a large range of operators.

Thomas Cook, Europe’s second largest travel agent, has recently merged with to develop a dynamic packaging portal incorporating products from its competitors as well as its own. Consumers need to be able to shop across barriers and enjoy a seamless online experience, and many of the large industry players are realising it’s time to facilitate instead of isolate.

Tags: dynamic packaging, MyTravel, online travel, Thomas Cook, travel industry

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