Friday, 3 August 2012

World’s largest hotel survey unveils Indian hospitality industry’s top trends

India likes it old fashioned with majority of businesses confirming ‘direct enquiry with hotel’ as the most important source of reservations

India shows the highest proportion of businesses in Asia Pacific that expect the economy to improve in next six months

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the results of the latest TripAdvisor Industry Index  which revealed some startling findings about today’s top hospitality trends for India and around the world. With more than 25,000 responses from hoteliers around the globe, it is the world’s largest hotel survey.  The Asia Pacific region accounted for slightly over a fifth of the entire sample and India formed the largest segment of this region with just over 1,500 respondents, making it the largest hotel survey in India as well.
50% of Asia-Pacific respondents reported optimism about the economy for the remainder of the year believing the economy would improve.  The report further shows that hoteliers in Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America were twice as likely to report being profitable in the last six months than hoteliers in the EMEA(Europe Middle East and Africa) region who are the least optimistic about the future.

TripAdvisor’s hotel survey has also uncovered a number of other industry insights, including accommodations’ business outlook, how they are engaging with travellers on social and mobile platforms and their plans to offer eco-friendly programs.

Summarising survey highlights for India, Nikhil Ganju (Country Manager, TripAdvisor India) said, “Most survey results for India cue a positive industry sentiment. In fact we designed an industry scale based on survey response on economic and business outlook of properties, which indicate better than average business health for India, which ranks second in APAC region and fifth in the world.”

Adding further, he said “Another highlight of the survey reveals that though Indian hoteliers recognize the importance of social and mobile marketing, they are slow at adopting their use to connect with current and potential customers, compared to global numbers.”

India Displays Healthy Start and Hearty Optimism

  • Indonesia and India have the highest proportion of respondents in Asia Pacific reporting their business as extremely profitable (6% for both areas) or very profitable (38% for Indonesia and 29% for India) in the last 6 months.
  • India shows unbridled optimism with the highest proportion of businesses in APAC that expect the economy to improve in the next 6 months. 66% respondents support the claim that the economy will improve a little /lot in the second half of 2012.
  • The positive business outlook also seems to be evident from the staffing plans in second half of 2012, as India ranks highest globally among all countries surveyed, for staff turnover based on increased staff levels. 
  • While most respondents in APAC reported that there would be no change in their staffing levels in the next 6 months, respondents in India were more likely to increase their staff (39%), followed by Thailand (31%) and Indonesia (30%).
Simmer Summer and a Flagging Fall

While 50% businesses reported an increase in room occupancy this summer compared to same period last year, 70% hotels said they had to bring down room rate or keep them same to attract more guests in the summer. Only 24% hotels actually increased the room rate. Also 62% hotels are looking at reducing or not revising their room rates, leading up to the fall season.

Business Outlook Rankings
India ranks fifth in the world for hotels with the best business outlook, while Greece ranks last, according to respondents’ answers to a number of questions gauging the perceived health of their business.

Most Positive Outlook:

1. Indonesia
2. Brazil
3. Russia
4. United States
5. India

Most Negative Outlook:
18. New Zealand
19. France
20. Spain
21. Italy
22. Greece

Playing Catch Up on Social, Online & Mobile

59% of Indian businesses claim to be using social media to engage with current and potential guests. While this number looks very encouraging it is still a far cry from businesses in South East Asia with over 80% of respondents in Malaysia and Indonesia using it.
Top three reasons cited by Indian hotels to use social media are:
  • Responding to reviews (57%)
  • Posting deals/special offers (55%)
  • Promoting events (33%)
Majority of hotel respondents in Asia Pacific confirmed having a website for their property with online booking facility. India had the lowest proportion of hotel respondents with online booking.
This is further corroborated by the survey finding that only 11% respondents cited online booking through hotel website as the top source of reservation for them. A majority of 66% respondents claim ‘direct enquiry with hotel’ to be among top 3 sources of reservations for them.

While the importance of mobile as a marketing platform is recognised by the industry at large, properties have not yet adopted mobile programs en masse.
86% Indian properties believe that allowing the guests to book online via mobile apps is very/somewhat important and 75% of properties also believe it is important to make special offers available to users of mobile devices. However, only 21% respondents confirmed they actually offer any programs to engage with current and/or potential guests using mobile devices.

India Top Deals
So far this year, room rate discounts and amenities (e.g. free wifi access) emerged globally as the two most common special offers doled out by hotels to attract customers.
India too follows the global trend with 54% businesses who offered discount on room rate and 48 percent who gave access to special amenities.

Eco-Friendly Programs: 'Win-Win' for Hotel Budgets and Environment
Hotels in Asia Pacific indicated eco-friendly practices as being more important for them than Inns and Bed & Breakfast establishments. Eco-friendly practices are most likely to be reported as very important in India and least likely in Australia. India ranks eleventh globally and fourth in APAC in a rank of nations based on the proportion of respondent that have eco-practices actually in place. New Zealand tops the global and regional list with 95% of respondents with eco-friendly practices.
Cost Reduction and Industry trends rank as the top two reasons globally driving adoption of eco practices by businesses, including India.

For more data from the TripAdvisor Industry Index, please download the report here:

The latest TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index was conducted June 7- 14, 2012 and was sent by email to a random sample of global accommodation owners and managers. The survey generated 25,517 responses worldwide. A total of 5,458 respondents were based in the Asian Pacific region, making up a just over a fifth of the entire sample. The region was divided into nine different areas. India formed the largest segment of this region with just over 1,500 respondents, followed by Australia with just under 1000 respondents. Data analysis and other survey consultation were performed by Brainbox Research Ltd. Sample size for India was 1516 contributing the largest to the pie in Asia Pacific. Please note sample sizes for the following countries were low compared to the other countries surveyed: China (188), Malaysia (129), Mexico (151) and Russia (64).

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