Ø New Zealand is the ‘dream’ destination for Indians to visit in the next 12 to 24 months, followed by France and Switzerland
Ø Despite gloomy economic outlook - only 14% Indian respondents report spending more on travel because they feel more confident about the economy, but travellers are not willing to give up their holidays
Ø Mobile booking is the next growth frontier. While just 3% in India booked the accommodation for their last trip via mobile, China is leading the pack with 10% of Chinese booking via mobile followed closely by Thailand (9%).
Ø Hoteliers in India are ahead in offering mobile services to travellers (81%), compared to the global average (76%)
Ø Indian hoteliers say online reviews (62%) have the biggest impact on travellers’ booking decision.
New Delhi, India – April 28, 2014 –TripAdvisor®
The results of the latest TripBarometer study paint a positive picture for the global travel industry – overall, travellers are planning to spend more on their holidays in 2014.
Additionally,this year, 90 percent of global travellers are planning to travel domestically (up from 87 percent in 2013) and 77 percent plan to travel internationally, up 12 percent compared to 2013 (65%).
Indians are amongst the most likely to be planning international travel this year, along with South Africans, Chinese and New Zealanders. Ninety-five percent of Indian travellers are planning to travel domestically (down 1% compared to 2013) while 66 percent are planning to travel abroad, up 21 percent compared to last year.
Budgets increasing but travellers still on the hunt for a bargain
However, global hoteliers place higher importance on online reviews than price in terms of influencing travellers’ booking decisions. Similarly, Indian hoteliers perceive online reviews (62%) to have the biggest impact when travellers book accommodation, followed by recommendations from friends and family (50%) and price (48%). The results suggest that although hoteliers know price is an important factor, they believe that the room rate combined with a good online reputation will ultimately influence travellers’ booking decisions.
Looking ahead at the next 12 to 24 months, Europe tops the list of places global travellers plan to visit (46%), followed by Asia (39%) and North America (32%). At 33 percent, New Zealand is the ‘dream’ overseas destination for Indians to visit in the next 12 to 24 months, closely followed by France (32%) and Switzerland (31%).
"Exploration is back on the agenda in 2014, with more travellers planning international trips this year,” said Marc Charron, President, TripAdvisor for Business. “TripBarometer offers up insights into the needs and behaviours of consumers in today’s rapidly changing travel marketplace, providing valuable insights for hospitality businesses looking to attract new audiences. Travellers are upping their budgets but they are looking for bargains, expecting their accommodation of choice to deliver on value. Special offers, complimentary amenities and exceptional service are all going to be important factors in swaying potential guests.”
The increase in travel budgets and travel plans is mirrored by business confidence with 70 percent of global hoteliers saying they are optimistic about their profitability in the next year (up from 67% in 2013).
Online and offline co-exist for travel planning, but user-generated content reigns
Travellers from Asia are the most likely to book their accommodation relatively last minute, with 23 percent booking up to two weeks before their trip – higher than the global average of 16 percent. In India, nearly six out of ten (57%) travellers book up to three weeks to 2 months before their trip.Brits (20%) and Australians (16%) pre-plan the most, booking seven to 12 months before they trip.
When it comes to travel planning, online dominates, with the majority of respondents using online resources (Global: 98%; India 100%). More than seven out of 10 respondents (Global: 74%; India: 77%) cite ‘TripAdvisor’
Mobile booking on the up in Asia, but global uptake still slow
Whilst 91 percent of global travellers are attached to their mobiles; India and China lead the pack with 98 percent of travellers from each country saying they use their smartphones on holiday.
Compared to the global average of 66 percent, fewer Indians booked their last trip online (55%). Thirty-seven percent Indians booked offline, compared to only 24 percent of global travellers. Whilst online bookings are commonplace, mobile bookings are emerging slowly. Just four percent of travellers globally and three percent in India booked the accommodation for their last trip via mobile; however, China is leading the pack with 10 percent of Chinese booking via mobile. This behaviour implies a ‘leapfrogging’
Three in four (76%) global hoteliers and eight in ten (81%) Indian hoteliers already have a mobile offering for travellers in place.
Commenting on the findings Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India said “It is encouraging to note that the travel sentiment remains strong with Indian travellers looking to up their travel spend by 15 percent, despite only 14 percent of them report spending more on travel because they feel more confident about the economy.”
“What is most exciting is the huge opportunity that mobile booking represents with a significant portion of travellers both globally and in India using their smartphones to find things to do and search for hotels whilst they are travelling. The good news is that the majority of Indian hoteliers already have mobile offering for travellers and of those who don’t, nearly two-thirds plan to introduce it in 2014. It is only a matter of time before this gap is bridged and booking process on mobiles is facilitated to reach more people on the go,” he added.
For the full TripBarometer report, infographic and global findings, please visit www.tripadvisor.in/