Even though what it describes as a “subset” of Indians have the wherewithal to enjoy leisure travel—even a subset comprises scores of millions in the world’s second most populous country—a Phocuswright research analyst, Chetan Kapoor, tells us in a new report that more than half of the nation’s travelers go online to research and shop for travel. Some of the key findings of the report, Indian Holiday and Packages Market: Now Empowered, Travelers Take Control, include the following:
—While holiday travelers rely on a range of information sources, websites via computer were the most common, with 54 percent of travelers going online to search and shop for travel components.
—Travelers were nearly as likely to shop via smartphone (40 percent), underlining the substantial influence mobile websites and applications are having on travel planning.
—However, few–nearly four out of 10–prepackaged holiday travelers used an online payment method. While the payment distinction is important within the travel industry, travelers themselves are often unclear on what constitutes an online booking.
—Many are searching online but still reserving through call centers or visiting storefronts to make payments. Indian travelers use the best of both worlds to shop and book their travels.
—When choosing a destination, recommendations from friends and family are among the most influential factors, and 35 percent of holiday travelers were motivated by personal advice when planning their most significant leisure trip.
—Although price is not a primary motivator for most important leisure trips, three in 10 holiday travelers were inspired by a great deal.
—Holiday travelers showed a strong preference for domestic destinations when planning their leisure trips.
—When considering every leisure trip taken by holiday travelers in the past 12 months, 68 percent were to domestic destinations. But for the most significant trip, holiday travelers chose a domestic destination 82 percent of the time.
—For holiday travelers, prepackaged trips are the most popular option, with nearly half of travelers (48 percent) choosing to purchase a set package for their most significant leisure trip. In other words, with a lengthy or expensive vacation, many Indian travelers prefer to leave the details to the professionals (i.e., a travel provider or an intermediary) to avoid taking risks.
—Just over half of Indian travelers take matters into their own hands, with custom and non-packaged holidays (21 percent and 31 percent, respectively), showing a maturation of the Indian traveler who is getting more involved in holiday planning and purchase decisions.
Also, from the survey: 65 percent of the participants preferred Android to iOS, while only 25 percent preferred iOS to Androids. Samsung, Micromax, HTC, Sony and Lenovo were the top smartphone brands used for travel photography.