Online travel sales in Germany grew by 38% to €9.5 billion in 2005, and now represent about one quarter of the overall €38.1 billion travel market, according to a new survey. The online sales figure, however, also includes revenues generated by an online booking request but completed offline.

The “Web Tourism 2006” study by market research firm Ulysses Web-Tourismus found that airline ticket sales remained the dominant online travel sales segment last year. IATA airlines generated just over 50% of online travel revenues while low-cost carriers accounted for a further 26.9% of the total.

Online package holiday sales, in contrast, grew only moderately last year. The ten leading German tour operators only increased their online market share by 1% to 6.6%, with more sales via external portals and fewer via in-house websites.

Travel portals now generated more than 40% of tour operator online package sales compared to 30% in 2004.

Ulysses Web-Tourismus, which interviewed 343 travel industry decision-makers for the survey, forecast that German online travel sales will grow further to €12.2 billion this year, rising to €14.1 billion in 2007.

In contrast, offline sales, mostly via travel agencies, would decline from €28.7 billion last year to €25.7 billion in 2007. The overall German travel market would grow moderately from revenues of €38.1 billion in 2005 to €39.8 billion in 2007, it predicted.