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Never seen before: e-tourism decreases by 1% after a steady 2-digit growth for 10 years

Good health of click & mortars


The figures on e-tourism presented by the Fevad were released yesterday morning, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. This is historic. After a 2-digit growth for 10 years, these results are quite shocking. How to interpret them?



Despite the decline of 1%, e-tourism is doing rather better than the tourism industry as a whole - kebox - Fotolia.com
Despite the decline of 1%, e-tourism is doing rather better than the tourism industry as a whole - kebox - Fotolia.com
We had a presentiment. We were already witnessing the e-tourism sector slowing down in 2013.

The sector was decreasing by one point quarter after quarter. It went from 6% at the beginning of the year to 2% in December.

Jean Pierre Nadir, President of Easyvoyage, had even predicted this possibility: "It is even possible that e-tourism experiences a decline in 2014," he said. He was right.

Does this signify the end of the golden age? That would be a bit exaggerated ... Here is why…

A cyclical decline

Marc Lolivier, General Secretary of Fevad, was very straightforward on the morning of Tuesday, May 20, 2014: "Yes, it's a drop, but we need to contextualize it since it follows the general trend of decreased consumption."

In this respect, e-tourism is doing rather better than the tourism industry as a whole.

Tanguy Favennec, e-commerce manager at Air France even adds : "I think that we must attribute this poor performance to the economic cycle and not to structural reasons."

The decline in long and medium-haul operations for France’s activity sector is an explanation to take into account for the analysis of this trend.

Single Device Structure

Franois Monboisse, President of the Fevad, had placed great emphasis on a multi device framework, let’s not forget his remark: "The multi device usage is evolving in tourism, making growth calculations more difficult to measure. Just take a look at the usage: users will research information on their mobile, but very little reservations are done on this support.

Some reservations may materialize offline but were still initialized online."


The best proof is the good health of clicks & mortars - an Anglophone term used to refer to traditional companies that also have an online business – appearing in the top 15 most visited e-commerce websites.

They include:
Fnac,
Carrefour,
Leroy Merlin,
Darty,
Leclerc.

A proof that the multi device structure is doing well.

The Collaborative Economy

Also worth mentioning is the new phenomenon of the collaborative industry to take into account. Its development is not without implications for tourism professionals.

With 1,221,000 average single visitors per month the leader Covoiturage.fr now Blablacar, is recognized as a major player today.

Online strategies should be well advised not to miss this phenomenon if only to tap into this evermore captive audience.

A dynamic e-commerce

In addition, e-commerce still stands strong within a specific dynamic.

"The number of active websites has increased again by 17% this year , says Marc Lolivier. These are often niche websites, but they participate in the plurality of the sector and its renewal.

Let’s not take that as a sign that they are overwhelmed by the barrier of technological investments, as can feared within the mobile sector for example that requires heavy investment.

The pooled market platforms give them an easy access to catch up with Internet users.

Similarly, the growth of e-commerce is supported by market vacancies that are the only explanation for the 3% increase."


Smaller websites are filling up these spots.

An increase in purchase frequency

If the decrease in the average transaction is again effective this year, we should still note the significant increase in purchase frequency of more than 10%.

This is encouraging, knowing that at the same time the average amount spent by online shoppers has also increased by 5%.

Let's hope then that for the e-tourism sector this decline is more cyclical than structural.

Written by Rémi Bain Thouverez translated by Joséphine Foucher the 21/05/2014
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Tags : e-commerce

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