Wednesday, 13 March 2013

TripAdvisor TripBarometer Reveals

Over half of Indians access the internet on their mobile phones while travelling
Indians rank among highest in global survey for those seeking adventure holidays

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

The results of the TripBarometer highlight positive indicators for Indian travellers in 2013 despite high inflationary pressure and an overall economic outlook that does not predict much increase in salaries this year. With 77% respondents saying they are planning to increase their travel spend this year; Indian travellers seem to be upbeat about their holiday plans for 2013.

Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India said, With such an optimistic outlook for their travel plans this year , travel seems to have become an integral part of the consumption basket for Indians -  a change even a slow economic scenario seems unable to derail, according to the results of our survey.”

He further added, “In addition to travelling more heavily, we also seem to be turning into intrepid travellers as  India features among countries that ranked ‘adventure’ highest as preferred type of trip.” 

Indians Bitten by the Adventure Bug. Family Reigns.
  • While across all countries, beach holidays were preferred by the largest majority, Indians most favoured Family/Kids holidays, with 22% respondents choosing it as their preferred type of trip. However, the real eye-opener was that Adventure/activities was the second most preferred type of trip chosen by 16% respondents, much higher than the world average of 11%. In fact India is included in a 4-way tie with Germany, France & Egypt as countries that ranked highest for “Adventure”. The next most popular types of holidays were Beach and Cultural trips. Winter sports holidays were the least preferred holidays across the globe, including India.

  • Majority of Indians (61%) travelled on leisure for their last trip followed next by “Visiting Family & Friends’. In fact ‘Visiting Family & Friends’ on their last trip stood at 21% - much higher than the global or Asia average of 18%. Also, India ranked highest at 16% among all countries (along with Egypt & South Africa) for those who last travelled for business.
  • Most across the world see travel as time spent with loved ones, with the vast majority of people (86%) travelling with someone else. The global average for respondents who travelled solo on their last trip stood at only 14%, with Indian solo travellers not far behind at 12%. Majority of the overall global sample said they travelled with their spouse/partner on their last trip, including India. However, Indians travelling ‘With my children’ (22%) and ‘Other family members’ (26%) is much higher than the global trend of 18% and 17% respectively.

Modus Operandi: Planning & Booking Online

Indians seem to be organised travellers as majority of respondents agreed they like to have all the basics taken care of such as booking flights, arranging transit and accommodation, when planning and booking online. This seems to be the dominant behavior for both domestic (41%) as well as international (34%) travel.

However, on a domestic trip this majority is followed next by 31% Indians who claim to be “relaxed travel bookers” implying that they only book flights, and go with the flow when they arrive at the destination. In stark comparison with this is the second largest group of respondents (30%) for international travel who said they try to have everything planned - from booking flights, transit, accommodation, including most meals and sightseeing.
Social & Mobile On-the-Go: The Umbilical Cord

Across the total global sample, half of respondents had accessed the internet through their mobile phone whilst they were away and 39% had uploaded holiday pictures to a social network.

Indian travellers too can’t seem to cut themselves loose, and beat the global average on tech addiction during their trips as:
  • 58% access the internet via mobile
  • 50% upload photos to social networks
  • 44% update status on social networks
Community of Travellers Spreading the Word

Breaking away from conventional ways, there are some surprises in how Indians seem to be planning their trips. Word of mouth emerges as a powerful source of information, as we seem to be relying heavily on the opinion of other travellers. Also, in line with the global average, 92% Indian travellers claimed to use online resources to plan their trip.  
  • In around half of the countries surveyed, the greatest majority of the country’s respondents reported that travel review websites were the most useful information source when researching and planning their last trip; including India with 39% respondents affirming this.
  • A majority of 32% respondents in India also gave travel review sites the stamp of approval as the most trustworthy source of information.
  • 36% Indian respondents also agreed that other people’s reviews and opinions on travel review sites influenced the plans for their last trip – higher than the Asia average of 30% and the global average of 32%. 

The power of traveller opinion is not only evident in the use of travel review sites by Indians when planning their trips but also in how they are sharing their post-travel experience with the world. While offline recommendations are strong, recommending online is fast gaining traction and closing the gap. This is validated by the fact, that while the survey finds 60% of Indian respondents recommending accommodations they stayed at to friends and family offline, not far behind are 51% respondents who said they recommend the accommodations they stayed at to friends and family online.

And how are travellers sharing their travel experience online?
Globally more than half of the sample had written reviews about accommodations they had stayed in (51%) compared to over-one third (37%) who had written reviews of their experiences for websites, 37% who wrote comments about their holiday on their social network and 17% who had written their travel itinerary and experience in a blog or forum.

Indians seem to be on their way to becoming prolific contributors of travel content as they beat the global average on all of the above. Among the Indian sample, 52% had written a review about accommodation they had stayed at, 36% had written a review about their experience on a website, 43% had commented about their holiday on their social network and 25% had written their travel itinerary and experience in a blog or forum.  Also Tweeting seems to be more popular with Indians as a quarter (25%) Indian respondents said they Tweeted about their holiday, compared to the global average of only 12%.  India (tied with Thailand and Russia) also ranked highest for travellers who claimed to have written their travel experience in a blogs or online forums.

Methodology: The TripBarometer by TripAdvisor is based upon an online survey conducted in December 2012 – January 2013. A total of 35,042 people participated in the online survey from 26 countries spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 15,595 consumers and 19,447 businesses, making it the world’s largest combined accommodation and traveller survey

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