Wednesday, 6 March 2013

TripAdvisor Global Study Finds Indian Accommodations Most Optimistic in World; Over Three-quarters of Indian Travellers Expect to Spend More on Travel in 2013


TripAdvisor Announces Results of TripBarometer: World’s Largest Accommodation and Traveller Survey with More than 35,000 Global Respondents

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, today announced the results of the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey¹ – the TripBarometer by TripAdvisor. This study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm StrategyOne (a division of Edelman Berland), will be biannual and reports on top travel and hospitality industry trends, according to more than 35,000 travellers and accommodations around the world.

The results of the TripBarometer highlight country level, regional and global trends within the travel sector and reveal insights into economic outlook, travel planning, booking methods and traveller expectations. The report shows that Indian accommodations are the most optimistic about their business prospects in 2013, while 77 percent of domestic travellers plan to increase their travel spend this year.
Indian hoteliers are able to look back at last year with satisfaction: 81 percent of the over 750 hoteliers surveyed for the TripBarometer reported that 2012 was economically successful for them. In fact, 28 percent of Indian accommodation owners went so far as to describe 2012 as "very profitable". Looking at these findings, India is in peak position compared to other key markets around the world.

Indian accommodation owners are the most bullish in the world with 89 percent of them stating that they are optimistic about their probability this year, which is above the global average of 68 percent. This positive mood is also reflected in terms of plans to increase staff levels: 41 percent of Indian accommodations plan to create new jobs, which places them first in the ranking of other key global markets for job creation in 2013.

Asian Accommodations amongst Most Optimistic in World About Profitability in 2013

(ranked in order of optimism)
Accommodation owners from Asian countries polled in the TripBarometer are amongst the most optimistic in the world.
 
Region
Percentage of respondents optimistic about business profitability in 2013
North America
82%
South America
77%
Asia
72%
Africa
71%
Middle East
71%
Australasia
65%
Europe
54%
GLOBAL
68%

Looking at hiring trends within the global accommodation industry, 19 percent of respondents are planning to add new jobs in 2013. According to the TripBarometer, Asian accommodations are nearly three times (32%) as likely to add news jobs in 2013 as European accommodations (12%).

Asian accommodations are amongst the most likely to increase their room rates in 2013, with 42 percent of accommodation providers planning to increase rates this year. In India, 47 percent of accommodations are planning to increase room rates in the coming months. 

Region
Percentage of respondents who plan to increase room rates
South America
48%
North America
43%
Asia
42%
Africa
41%
Middle East
39%
Australasia
36%
Europe
32%
GLOBAL
40%

Global Travellers’ Plans to Increase Travel Spend Present Opportunity for Accommodations

Travellers from Africa are showing the biggest increase in their planned travel spend for 2013, with 76 percent of respondents saying they estimate that their travel budget will increase this year. Travellers from the Middle East (75%) and South America (58%) also plan to spend notably more on travel in 2013. Globally, 50 percent of travellers expect their travel spend to go up this year.

Region
Percentage of respondents who expect their travel budget to increase in 2013
Africa
76%
Middle East
75%
South America
58%
Asia
49%
Australasia
44%
North America
44%
Europe
44%
GLOBAL
50%

Online Channels Acting as Megaphone for Traditional ‘Word of Mouth’

The TripBarometer reveals that 69 percent of travellers globally use travel review websites when researching and planning their trips. Over half (62%) of respondents in Asia and seven in ten (70%) respondents in India look to travel review websites.
The three sources of information reported as being most useful by global and Asian travellers are all online sources.

Information Source
Percent of respondents finding source most “useful” (Global)
Travel review websites
38%
Web based travel agencies
19%
Travel operator websites
16%
Friends and family
10%
Travel magazines & brochures
6%
Social media
4%
High street travel agencies
4%
Other
3%

With travellers going online for their travel research and planning, they are also showing preference for online as the primary booking channel. Globally, the majority of travellers are booking accommodation via web-based travel agencies (27%), closely followed by accommodations’ own websites (23%).

Business owners report their own website as the channel that generates the most amount of bookings (35%) for them, followed by online travel agencies (18%). The data paints a slightly less positive story for store front travel agencies, with 9 percent of travellers booking their last accommodation through an offline travel agent.

Looking strictly at the results for Asian accommodations, 28 percent report their own website as the channel that generates the majority of their bookings, followed by online travel agencies (24%) and their own mobile app (13%).

The results of the TripBarometer reveal that travel review websites have the biggest influence on travellers’ decisions when choosing a hotel: 93 percent of travellers indicated that other people’s reviews and opinions on travel review websites have influenced their decision to book accommodations for their last trip. Not surprisingly, a majority (96 percent) of accommodations globally perceived online reviews are of crucial importance for generating booking.

“The TripBarometer has revealed useful insights into what global travellers are planning and shone a light on the areas where accommodation providers can do more to meet guests’ expectations,” said Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business. “With travellers choosing digital channels for their travel planning and research, traditional word of mouth has been amplified and online booking has become the norm across the globe. Furthermore, as business optimism and travel budgets increase across Asia, it seems likely that hospitality businesses in the region will benefit from this positive sentiment.

Indian Properties in Control of Their Online Reputation

The TripBarometer shows that a majority (91 percent) of hospitality businesses in India indicate that they are taking active control of their online reputation by monitoring traveller reviews online.

Indian accommodations consider both guest rants and raves equally valuable feedback. According to the TripBarometer, accommodations in India are proactive in responding to both positive and negative online reviews with 89 percent of survey respondents claiming that they respond to positive reviews and nearly all (99 percent) of respondents indicating that they respond to negative reviews, either online or in private.

Good staff performance does not go unnoticed with over half (64 percent) of Indian properties indicating that they have congratulated or rewarded staff as a result of positive online reviews. Guest feedback is taken seriously by Indian accommodations with 71 percent indicating that they have addressed the content of a negative review with the staff involved and a further 63 percent having invested in staff training on account of receiving a negative online review.

“With travel review websites as the biggest influence on travellers’ decisions when choosing accommodation, it’s encouraging to see accommodations in Asia taking immediate action to manage their online reputation by engaging with past guests and the wider traveller community through management responses to online reviews,” said Deepesh Saxena, TripAdvisor for Business’ Territory Manager in India. “One of the best ways to generate more traveller reviews is to simply ask hotel guests to share their travel experiences online.”

Sustainable Travel Gaining Importance in India

Sustainability is a key concern for travellers when making travel plans with 79 percent of travellers surveyed globally and 91 percent of Indian travellers indicating that it’s important for accommodation providers to have eco-friendly practices. In keeping with consumer demand for responsible travel, 70 percent of Indian accommodations currently have practices in place to reduce the impact their business has on the environment. According to the survey, Indian properties indicate that they are doing their bit for the planet by implementing a wide range of eco-friendly practices. The most common initiatives are energy-efficient blubs (89 percent) followed by towel and linen re-use programme (83 percent).


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