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Online travel’s new dynamic duo: Expedia and Wotif

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

For comments or more information please contact:

Jane Ianniello
International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure
Office: +61 (7) 3318 7000
Mobile: +61 423 024 412
Jane.Ianniello@roymorgan.com

Related research findings

View our range of Travel Agent and Holiday Booking Reports which include reports tracking the brand health of travel agents as well as reports on holiday booking trends.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to access an extensive range of Travel and Tourism Reports, including our Travel Agent and Tour Operators Profiles. These profiles provide an overview of the target group including information on their demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2