Google India, along with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), today released a comprehensive report on the growth opportunities in the Indian hospitality market over the next four years.
The report titled, ‘Demystifying the Indian Online Traveler’ charts the decision making journey of the Indian traveller and provides insights on the potential growth opportunities for travel businesses till 2020.
As per the report, Indian travel market is projected to grow at 11-11.5% to $48 billion by 2020 with the biggest contributor, air travel expected to grow at 15% to $30 billion. Hotels will grow at 13% to $13 billion by 2020 while railways will remain largely stagnant at $5 billion.
Additionally, as more people come online, smartphone penetration improves and use of digital payments goes up, the report estimates that India’s online hotel market will grow to US$4 billion with 31% penetration at a CAGR of 25%.
Aggregators vs. Destination
On average, travel consumers spend 49 minutes spread over 46 days, visiting as many as 17 different online touch points to plan, research and make a booking. However, it is interesting to note that the length of each online session is less than 3 minutes, due to the ubiquity of mobile.
Touch Points : Online winning over offline?
there are several touch points in the consumer journey, including OTA (64% reach), search engines (33% reach) and Maps (26% reach). Advocacy and word of mouth form an important input into the travel booking journey with 76% of people gaining inspiration to travel from family and friends. Further, reviews and ratings from other users is the single most important criteria to select a certain booking channel.
Finally, the research finds that consumers use a mix of online and offline sources of information during their booking journeys. However, only 12% of the consumers prefer to use offline sources for research. 57% of the consumers believe that online channels give them better deals while 41% find it more convenient for them to book online.