Top 10 “Internet Countries”

Wayne M. Gore - Dec 9, 2008

Nowadays, internet is the most important and fastest developing medium worldwide. It has changed our way of everyday life and thinking in many aspects and influenced every single one of us. Information is easy and quick to find and thus considerably better accessible. Due to the massive evolution of online shopping and booking, also tour operators and destinations had to rethink and take the internet business into account. Internet Statistics compiled by Internet World Stats and brought to you by Tourism shows the top 10 countries in terms of the absolute number of Internet users.

1. China

253,000,000 internet users
17.3% of world users
19% of population

As the most populated country in the world, China is a just winner. In 2008, it had 253 million of internet users, with the prospect to reach 375 million in 2010. Yet only 19% of the overall population is connected, which is quite a low number in comparison to other giants like e.g. the USA. As for the travel market, the web is a popular medium here – nearly 70% of Chinese travellers browse for their potential travel destinations or experiences online. Tour operators and tourism boards should start thinking about translating their web pages to Chinese to reach this market.

2. USA

220,141,969 internet users
15% of world users
72% of population

Even though the U.S. loses to China in total numbers, they beat it in terms of the share of connected people in the population. 72% Americans have access to internet and 63,4% of them use it at least once a month. What more a recent study showed that for the first time there are more women than men online. At the same time 48% of the American tourists check the internet for destination, tour operator or hotel reviews before they decide where and how to travel.

3. Japan

94,000,000 internet users
6.4% of world users
74% of population

There is a huge gap between the silver and the bronze position. There are more than twice as many web users in the USA than in Japan. But still remember that the U.S. has twice as many inhabitants. In Japan the growth in numbers is significant. Today, there are 94 million users in the country, which is nearly exactly 100% more than in 2000.

4. India

60,000,000 internet users
4.1% of world users
6% of population

Only around 6% of population has access to the web in India, most of them from the large urban areas. The industry is however supposed to develop and spread fast. There have been large investments in tourism and infrastructure in the past years to attract more travellers and travel is the most widely-used online service category.

5. Germany

52,533,914 internet users
3.6% of world users
64% of population

Germany is the second most populated country in Europe (Russia being quite an expected winner) and has also the second largest online travel market with more than 19% share on the European travel market. Germany and the European leader, the UK with 30% share, occupy nearly one half of all the European € 49.4 billion online travel business.

6. Brazil

50,000,000 internet users
3.4% of world users
26% of population

As for the internet access, Brazil belongs to the fastest developing countries in the world. There are about 50 million users in Brazil, which is more than for example in Mexico with the same number of inhabitants. Since 2000 the number of connected Brazilians has grown 900%. Most of the Brazilians use internet at work and the overall home connectivity is still quite low. 

7. UK

41,817,847 internet users
2.9% of world users
67% of population

According to the statistics, 16,5 million British households had web access in 2008. No surprise that UK is the European online travel market number one. The British are quite well off and can afford to travel but they want to get as much information as possible, as well as the booking itself, from their homes. 87 percent of the polled stated that they want to search for their next holiday destination on the web.

8. France

36,153,327 internet users
2.5% of world users
56% of population

Even though slightly more populated than the UK, France has less internet users than its over-the-channel neighbour. Yet the online travel market is growing rapidly (24% in the first quarter of 2008) and the prospects are thus positive.

9. South Korea

34,820,000 internet users
2.4% of world users
71% of population

South Korea traditionally counts to the most hi-tech countries in the world and internet access goes without saying for most of its inhabitants.

10. Italy

34,708,144 internet users
2.4% of world users
58% of population

52% of the Italian internet users look for information regarding travelling and tourism at least once a month and internet shopping seems natural to 41% of the overall 34,708,144 Internet users.

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  1. It would be interesting to see which countries had the highest percentage of their population connected to and using the internet.

    (New Zealand)
  2. there was a research on net

    i think sweden denmark netherlands iceland...

  3. @Ray:
    Probably Vatican city, Luxemburg, SanMarino or one of other small and developed states.


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