Internet tourism continues to show stable growth in sales, despite the global financial crisis and the approaching crisis of the tourist industry. Booking hotels through the popular online services, like booking.com, stands out against a background of other services. By initial estimation of the American company PhoCusWright, which is engaged in monitoring of virtual tourism, the growth in sales of tourist product in the Internet during 2008 has increased by 30%.
The world financial crisis in a certain way contributed to the growth in sales. Many major tour agencies have been forced to reduce costs and transfer the part of their business into the Internet. At the same time tourists have become more legible in choosing of tours and hotel booking. Internet gives a perfect opportunity to compare prices and choose an offer, which quality and price will be most suitable for the client.
Among the leaders of online-booking market of Europe are Britain and Scandinavian countries. According to PhoCusWright, Norway, Finland and Sweden with 5% of the total volume of European tourist industry, managed to provide 8% of pan-European sales of tours and room booking in the hotels via Internet. Analysts predict that Scandinavians will purchase tours via the Internet even more actively next year. It is expected that in 2009 about 40% of Scandinavian citizens will make an orders for hotels and tours via the Internet.
Experts estimate, that 2009 will be no less profitable for web-tourism than 2008. Among the positions, which are considered to be the leaders of the market, are: airline tickets booking online, hotel booking, railway tickets booking and selling tours through the sites of tour operators. Some analysts call 2009 a key period, where the Internet will play a decisive role.