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Issue 2001-11 - Friday, October 26, 2001

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  Degriftour-lastminute, Nouvelles Frontières-Preussag, SNCF-Expedia, Promovacances-Karavel: French eTourism continues its consolidation  

French eTourism continues its consolidation at fast motion: one after the other, all the most important French eTourism web sites are internationalising their structures.

Degriftour, as the most important actor in the French eTourism sector was the first to set the tone just over a year ago with lastminute.

It was followed by the German Preussag that bought into Nouvelles Frontières, not to mention the union that took place between SNCF and Expedia.

This time, it is Karavel, whose main investor happens to be the GDS Sabre, that buys Promovacances over, the second French eTourism web site, just after

Supposing we only take into account the TO and online agency sector, without including voyages-sncf, Accor and Air France; you should know that these sites alone (,, Karavel/ and represented 41% of the Internet traffic registered on the TO and online agency sector in September 2001 (figures provided by BVA TFC Research).


Besides, one of the most important actors in the French eTourism sector,, has been part of the Transat group for quite a while now, not to mention the coming together of Go Voyages and the Accor group that took place over a year ago.

And finally, some real tourist industrialists have been on the TO and online agency scene for quite a while now: Club Med and eBookers.

What this means is that these actors, that happen to be real tourist industrialists, now represent 56.2% of the whole Internet traffic registered on the TO and online travel agency sector and they hold 9 out of the 11 first positions (source BVA TFC Research).

Supposing we add SNCF-Expedia, Air France and Accor…it becomes obvious that French eTourism has become a matter of industrialists: the specific French characteristic of companies that used to be built around a man or a family is well and truly disappearing, at least online.

This phenomenon is expected to increase in the coming months with a pressure from newcomers that proves stronger and stronger: Expedia, Karavel/Sabre and…Travelocity that should soon launch its French web site.

To that matter, please do not forget that Travelocity just concluded a particularly significant union with the Otto German group, which immediately lends weight to the site on the European market.

Apart for the crisis that eTourism web sites are currently going through (and even though it is a short term crisis, it will still contribute to fasten the consolidation of the sector), it appears quite obvious that the French and European eTourism scene is currently emerging in broad outline.

A last major brushstroke is still needed to complete the picture: who will be next partner?


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