Online and social media marketing to Indian travellers is important at both the macro (destination) and micro (SME) level said Vineet Budki, CEO, Guiddoo (India) during his presentation on “Marketing to Indian Consumers” at the Mekong Digital Boot Camp, July 5, which preceded Mekong Tourism Forum 2016.
Content is critical to the strategy. Content that is search engine marketed or optimised, and viral in nature, will help drive conversions, he said.
The Indian market is strongly segmented and lucrative. Mr Budki offered the following facts and statistics:
- There are 54 million Indian domestic and international travellers annually who take an average of 1.7 leisure trips each per year;
- The average per person spend by Indians on holiday is $3,000;
- 88% of Indian travellers are less than 45 years of age;
- 43% of trips are between four to seven days’ duration;
- 75% of Indian travellers have children;
- 70% prefer packages;
- 99% are university educated; and
- 54% search online for travel inspiration
The tourism product mix is important to Indian travellers, especially food. There are a lot of Indian vegetarians and Jains who travel. Some tour groups even take their own chef. And because three quarters of Indian travellers have children, products that cater to kids and families are attractors.
Connectivity—i.e. direct flights—is critical due to Indians’ tendency to take short holidays (four to seven days).
Mr Budki said that while the Mekong region offers great value in terms of total travel costs, agents won’t recommend GMS destinations to their customers due to poor flight connectivity.
Thailand is the exception as it is well-connected to major Indian cities by air and does indeed welcome significant numbers of Indian visitors.
To an Indian with the time and inclination to travel to more than one Mekong destination the lack of a single visa is discouraging, Mr Budki said.
Guiddoo facilitates a lot of Indian travel to Dubai.
Mr Budki said Dubai forecasts 2 million Indian visitors annually by 2020. The Emirate is developing more than a dozen India-focussed initiatives and attractions to keep Indians coming to Dubai, staying longer, and spending more. And air connectivity is no problem as there are 16+ daily flights between Dubai and Mumbai alone.
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Presentations from Mekong Tourism Forum 2016 are available for download here.