Recent Release | 27 Oct 2022

The Economic Impact of Online Travel Agencies in United States and Canada 2019 – 2021

Tourism Consulting Team

Tourism Economics

In addition to generating significant economic impacts in terms of GDP and jobs, OTAs benefit the accommodation markets in both the United States and Canada (North America) through downward effects on rates and by expanding the number of room nights available to consumers.

This study conducted by Tourism Economics for Booking.com quantifies the incremental impact of online travel agencies on the tourism industries and broader economies of the United States and Canada. The number of travellers organizing travel through online travel agencies (OTAs) increased steadily from 2012 to 2019 to 724 million nights, which represented almost 1 in 4 nights booked in North America – a proportion of these nights and associated economic benefits would not have happened without the trusted information, transparency and choice provided by OTAs.

All travel bookings fell sharply during the pandemic, including some shifts in OTA use resulting in a lower impact on the tourism market and the broader economy in 2020 and 2021. OTAs still play an important role in matching evolving consumer demand with available supply.

About the team

Our consulting team at Tourism Economics are the world’s leading analysts of the global tourism and travel sector. They combine their expert insight with our state-of-the-art economic models and tools to answer the crucial questions facing our clients. Lead consultants on the project were:

Matthew Dass

Associate Director, Tourism Economics

+44 (0)289 263 5419

Matthew Dass

Associate Director, Tourism Economics

Belfast, United Kingdom

Since joining Oxford Economics Matthew has built on his expertise in economic consultancy,​ developing a specialty in economic impact assessments, cost-benefit analysis and policy development. Currently, Matthew helps lead the EMEA tourism consultancy unit within Oxford Economics.

Matthew has completed a number of tourism impact and policy studies for destinations around the world as well as for discrete parts of the accommodation and aviation sectors. He has also been the lead analyst for the development of a number of tourism satellite accounts and has been heavily involved in our work to assess the total economic value of various cultural and environmental assets.

Previously Matthew worked at KPMG, where he focused on winning and delivering economic consultancy work in key local, national and European markets. Matthew holds a first-class economics degree from the University of Ulster.

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