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The online travel stock market stock wrapped up

Is the market maturing? Is mobile all it’s cracked up to be? Sally White takes a look back on how the market moved in 2014

2014 may have been a great time for travel, but the travel companies have not exactly wowed the stock market. Spoilt by years of stratospheric growth figures share traders have been unimpressed by this year’s more sober numbers. While a few stocks have put in star performances, en bloc the on-line travel shares did less well than main market indices.

True, enthusiasm for travel was probably a little muted by Europe’s economic problems, Ebola, the Malaysian Airline disappearance and oil price fluctuations.

Even the hectic pace of consolidation, with mergers, acquisitions and forecasts of more bids to come, failed to excite the punters for long. It’s said that stock markets usually reflect companies’ profits a year or more ahead – (well, analysts guesses!) Traders don’t seem to see that many new customers out there! The widely held view is that the $400 bn-500bn digital travel industry sector is maturing. Most of us are ‘already hooked’ on booking on line! Even the move to mobiles, it is being said, is unlikely to add that many to the numbers of ‘netizens’.

That said, since travel growth correlates with GDP, the

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