The new Indian Traveler – great potential for the Mekong Region

Proudly contributed by Jens Thraenhart

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indian traveler2A foreign holiday has now become non-negotiable for Indian consumers

The Indian outbound market has been on an upswing. Even in 2013, when there were reports of a downturn due to the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar, India’s outbound tourism recorded a steady performance with 9% growth with 14 million international departures.

A recent report by Skift  and the Travel & Tourism Intelligence Center provides great insights into the potential of India as an emerging source market.

Indians made over 18 million outbound trips in 2014, which is 2 million trips more than in 2013. At the moment, barely 2% of India’s population travel abroad, as most Indians still cannot afford overseas flight prices. However, the country’s middle class has increased by more than 10% over the past five years and is set to grow from around 300 million at present to approximately 600 million by 2030. Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) says, “The rapid growth of the Indian middle class is turning this demographic into a major source market, and especially the new Indian travelers provide great potential for the Mekong region due to its authenticity, close proximity, food offerings, and religious heritage.” India has been added as a new emerging source market to the new Mekong Tourism Marketing Plan 2015-2020 by the Tourism Working Group of the six Greater Mekong Subregion member countries.

As the globe’s second most populous country, India has experienced tremendous economic upheavals in recent years. In this flat and outsourced world we live in, this ageless and ethnically diverse democratic nation of 1.2 billion people now has a sizable tech and telecommunications sector on top of its strong agricultural and manufacturing export industries.

India’s robust economic growth and rising household incomes is projected to take consumer spending to a level of US$ 3.6 trillion by 2020. Food, housing, consumer durables, transport, communication and international travel have garnered the most of consumer spending.

Countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations have been extremely popular in 2013 as Indian outbound destinations.

Thailand remains hot spot for Indian leisure tourism

Indian travelers characteristically have been avid business travelers, with 40% of all 2014 departures accounting for business trips. As a comparison, China only recorded a share of 21% for business travel.  One of the key destinations for Indian leisure tourism is Thailand, with over one million traveling there in 2014, an increase of 8.3% on the previous year.  This growth can be attributed to cheap tourism packages and limited visa entry requirements. Geographical proximity and low currency conversion rates also contributed. Moreover, the excessive heat in most parts of India during the summer means that Thailand appeals as a cheap yet close destination.

The interests of traveling Indians are more or less the same as those people from everywhere in the world. Shopping, sightseeing, museums, history, nightlife, amusement parks and ecotourism lead the pure leisure motivations, while visiting family and business remain as the top two overall. But more and more globetrotting Indians are turning experimental, looking to customise trips, opting for offbeat destinations and newer experiences.

Based on several market studies, shows that despite a relatively slower economic growth and foreign exchange volatility, over 15 million Indian travellers are planning foreign trip. Interestingly, Dubai and Singapore still keeps the top positions as the most popular destinations for Indians.

With over 50% of all phones sold in India being smart phones, it’s no wonder that 33% of all travel related queries come from mobile. Indian business travellers have quickly adapted to mobile bookings, and 39% of them are making travel arrangements including reservations through a mobile device.

The increase in disposable income along with a stable economy, easy access to credit and exposure to media have influenced Middle Class India’s mindset and choices. Indians are now more aspirational and confident – exploring new destinations and spending more on vacations. The infographic notes that 38% of Indians plan to utilize spare cash on holidays and vacations. The out bound travellers are high spenders with average spending per trip crossing $1700.

The report shows 51% searches done online are rated to travel. Indians clearly begins their travel planning through a search engine with 70% destination selection being done through online search. Hotels tops the list, with 54% of all travel related searches are on accommodation.

India has the third largest Facebook users. Social media has become the norm with 40% travellers consulting friends through social media on travel. Most four and five star hotels in main cities have realized the huge opportunity social media offers, and have made an active presence.

The Indian Traveller 2014
Source: eRevMax










Here are some newer breeds of Indian Travellers:


  • Evolving Family

The family traveller is changing today. At one end of the spectrum we are seeing multi-generation families taking over whole floors in hotels whereas at the other end of the scale, the growth of the single person household is driving the need for stimulating independent travel.


  • Laptop and Latte Workers

A new breed of business traveller. Often young, the typical 9-5 working environment and business centre atmosphere is alien to them. They prefer creative coffeehouse-style environments where they can be inspired by meeting other travellers while they work on their laptops and smart phones.


  • Expansive Mid-lifers

The growing numbers of adventurous over–50 travellers have emerged as the fastest growing and most affluent age group for the first time. These middle-aged travellers seek new experiences yet demand services that respect their needs without labelling them as old.


  • The Invisible Traveller

Describes a guest who could potentially ravel without touching the sides, and may never interact with hotel staff. From planning to booking, check-in at the airport to check-in at the hotel, room service and even concierge services, some travellers are already opting for an entirely independent travel experience.


  • Hyper-personalised Travellers

These are evolved travellers who need personalised and customised service. From service staff who can speak multiple languages to chefs who can provide vegan meals at short notice, we need to learn to cater to this growing niche, demanding but also have the money to spend.
Experts see two categories of Indian travellers growing — at the top end and the bottom end — as incomes rise.

There is also a new student mobility report that confirmed the number of Indian students going overseas was up sharply in 2014. This reverses a four-year trend of declining student numbers from India and, given the current scale and growth projections for Indian outbound, sets up in an interesting competitive dynamic among the world’s leading English-speaking destinations.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has made a conscious effort to target 1.05 million travellers from India to the Kingdom this year and the Vietnam International Administration of Tourism has turned to Bollywood to market to the growing number of outbound tourists from India to its tourism destinations.


Leveraging on the potential of Mekong’s pivotal role in India’s Look East Policy for Tourism Promotion, the time is now for you to put India on the top of your new tourism market list. The only alternative is sitting out and missing out on the tremendous opportunity being presented in the Indian sub-continent and watching nimbler companies that may be your competitors become leaders in this source market.


Indian-passport-Vietnam-visa-300x207Through our collaboration between MTCO with Fairfest Media Ltd (, we can help you gain access to a large proportion of these travellers via some 150,000 qualified who attend the most popular travel trade fairs and subscribe to the top ranking print and electronic news magazine owned by Fairfest.

MTCO and Fairfest is collaborating to help travel organizations to participate at OTM in Mumbay from February 18-20, 2016 by organizing a Mekong Tourism Pavilion to give small and medium sized companies the change to engage with the Indian travel trade in an affordable way and produce seminars for Indian travel agents and tour operators on how to sell the Mekong.
For more information, please contact Ms. Sheila Leong at email (or and mobile number +66 81 8150461.


Further Reading:

Expedia India has conducted several surveys that show great insight into the New Indian Traveler (August 2015)

Expedia, one of the world’s largest online travel agency, released the Holiday Activity Report 2015, an analysis of travel behavior and preferences across multiple cities in India. The survey was conducted with 520 respondents across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. The survey highlights that 48% Indians travelled for specific set of holiday activities this summer and decided their destinations accordingly.

“Holiday activities are picking up amongst Indian travellers. This is evident from the fact that almost half of them decide the activities and then plan their destination. The traveller evolution is happening at a faster pace now that they have access to vast amount of information available at review sites, OTAs and metasearch portals. They have much more clarity than 5 years back and play a critical role in travel planning. While 56% Indians preferred to travel in peak season, 44% chose off season. More than their budgets, they are anxious about wasting time, standing in long queues for tickets to theme parks and museums (22%), with uncertainty on ticket availability as well,” said Mr. Vikram Malhi, Managing Director, Asia, Expedia.

The survey also revealed that 48% Indians are interested in cultural events like Carnivals, Oktoberfest and Tomatina festival. 55% wish to check out the city-specific activities and cultural performances. 31% Indians wish to explore the city with locals and enjoy knowing their culture and 48% Indian talk and interact more with the locals. 30% wish to indulge in adventure sports, whereas 21% are curios collectors; 47% Indians want to discover unexplored destinations,” he added.

Expedia globally offers amazing discounts on the most popular holiday activities in top international cities. These activities can be purchased from the Expedia website across the globe. London Eye, London Hop on Hop Off Tour, Madame Tussauds, Stonehenge Trip have always interested the travelers visiting London; whereas, at Singapore Universal Studios Singapore Admission has always been in demand. The Las Vegas’s Grand Canyon West Rim Tour, Grand Canyon Helicopter Landing Tour, Mystere™ by Cirque du Soleil® and New York City’s Explorer Pass, Hop On Hop Off Tour, All-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Cruise by New York Water Taxi are some activities that help tourists to explore these places with ease. Rome’s Colosseum & Best of Rome Combo Tour, Evening City Stroll with Italian Aperitivo visits have increased over time with people wanting to know more about the history and culture of the place.

Dubai’s Sunset Desert Safari & Half-Day City Tour, Helicopter Sightseeing Experience Tour, Hop On Hop Off Tour offers the perfect platter to enjoy the beauty of the city and Hong Kong’s sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck Admission and Orlando’s SeaWorld, Legoland, Pirates Dinner Adventure are the activities that every tourist enjoys.

Appended are the detailed findings of the survey:

Travelers Choice: Destination or Experience?

67% Indians decide the destination first and then plan activities

  • Delhiites lead the pack at 72% followed by Pune (70%), Bangalore (69%) and Mumbai (68%)

33% Indians travel for a specific activity/experience

  • Hyderabadis top experience junkies at 45%, while the least being Delhiites (28%)

Against the current path…

While 56% Indians preferred to travel in peak season, 44% chose off season

  • Bangaloreans highest to prefer off season at 55%
  • Key reasons include – better deals on flights and hotels (60%), less crowd (56%), no children running around making noise (33%), easier to get leave (27%), better service in hotels (24%)
  • Hyderabadis least interested in travelling in off-season at 32%

OMG! Will I get the best deal?

  • Indian travelers most anxious about landing the best deals (40%), trip partners backing out at last minute (23%), standing in long queues for tickets to theme parks and museums (22%), budget (20%), shopping gifts for friends and relatives (17%)
  • Getting the best deals: Hyderabadis (45%) and Puneites (42%) most anxious, while Bangaloreans and Delhiites least anxious at 37%
  • Trip partners backing out at last minute: Puneites (30%) and Delhiites (26%) most anxious, Bangaloreans (16%) and Mumbaiites (22%)
  • Standing in long queues for tickets to theme parks and museums: Delhiites (28%) lead, followed by Bangaloreans (23%), Puneites (23%), Hyderabadis (22%); least anxious Mumbaiites (18%)
  • Budget: Hyderabadis (25%) and Mumbaiites (23%) lead while Delhiites don’t care as much (17%)
  • Shopping gifts for friends and relatives: Hyderabad (25%) and Delhiites (24%) top the list, while Bangaloreans (5%) and Mumbaiites (8%) aren’t bothered as much

Indians travelers least anxious about excess baggage (2%) and asking for leaves (4%)

  • Mumbaiites (8%) and Puneites (7%) most anxious about asking for leaves

Booking Activity

57% Indians prefer to book online while booking their flights and hotels, while 18% prefer to get the activity tickets from the hotel concierge. 25% Indians book the holiday activity ticket at the venue itself

  • Advance booking while booking flights and hotels: Bangalore (71%) Delhi (62%), Hyderabad (57%), Pune (48%) and Mumbai (45%)
  • From hotel concierge: Delhi (26%), Pune (20%), Mumbai (18%), Hyderabad (17%) and Bangalore (10%)
  • At the venue: Mumbai (37%), Pune (32%), Hyderabad (26%), Bangalore (19%) and Delhi (12%)

For 60% Indians, booking online is easier and 37% find more activity options available. 33% Indians get more suggestions on popular tours/ activities and for 30% it’s economical.

  • Easy to book: Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore (57%), Delhi (54%) and Hyderabad 40%
  • Offers more activity options: Bangalore (42%), Delhi (40%), Mumbai (35%), Hyderabad at 34% and Pune 32%
  • Offers suggestions on popular tours/activities: Bangalore (35%), Delhi (34%), Hyderabad and Pune at 32% and Mumbai (31%)
  • Economical: 35% from Mumbai, 34% from Delhi, 28% Hyderabad, 26% Pune and 25% from Bangalore feel this way

Expensive Forex, Damn it!

67% Indian vacationers resilient to currency fluctuations, Delhi on top (72%), Hyderabad at bottom (53%). If the dollar got cheaper: 66% Indian travelers will spend more on activities while 55% will extend the days of the vacation

  • Bangaloreans (83%) and Delhiites (77%) have the highest propensity to spend on activities, while Hyderabadis have the least (53%)
  • Puneites (64%), Delhiites (63%) and Hyderabadis (60%) take the lead in extending vacation days, least being Mumbaiites (40%)

31% will try and squeeze in nearby destinations and 29% will spend more on shopping

  • Delhiites choose to spend the highest in shopping amongst other cities (63%) followed by Bangaloreans (31%), Hyderabadis (21%), Mumbaiites (21%)

Only 14% will upgrade their hotel accommodation

  • Delhiites (23%) and Mumbai (21%) lead the pack

If the dollar got expensive

63% Indian travelers would cut down on shopping

  • Puneites the highest to cut down on shopping at 75% followed by Bangalore at 66%
  • Mumbaiites least to cut down shopping at 57%

38% would look at shifting to a more affordable destination

  • Mumbaiites most willing at 52%, while Bangaloreans (24%) are least willing to

32% would avoid places of interest that are ticketed

  • Mumbaiites (48%) & Puneites (46%) most conscious while Delhiites are least conscious at (37%)

32% would downgrade hotel star category

  • Delhiites (43%) & Bangalore (38%) on top to downgrade on the hotel category while Mumbaiites (21%) track at the bottom

25% would reduce vacation days

  • Mumbaiites lead the list at 33% followed by Hyderabad at 27%
  • Bangaloreans (17%) and Puneites (18%) least willing to reduce vacation days

What do we actually do on a vacation? Absorb a new experience!

  • 36% Indians wish to explore river/sea cruise and theme parks and 34% wish to head to beaches this year. Only 6% Indian wish to visit the deserts and 10% to the casinos and countryside with lakes
  • 39% travelers from Pune and 38% from Bangalore are the most interested to go to the beach this year, whereas only 28% from Mumbai wish to go to the beaches
  • 31% Bangalorean and 30% from Pune wish to travel to the snow-capped mountains and only 14% from Hyderabad wish to visit there
  • 40% from Bangalore and 38% from Mumbai wish to go for a river/sea cruise
  • 9% each from Pune and Mumbai wish to go to the deserts this summer and only 1% Bangaloreans wish to travel there
  • Theme park is another attraction that has picked up with 42% from Hyderabad and 39% from Pune interested.
  • Only 21% people from Delhi and Pune would like to visit a spa retreat this summers
  • 25% travelers from Hyderabad would like to take a trip to forests/national reserve and gamming safari

48% Indians are interested in cultural events like Carnivals, Oktoberfest, Tomatina and 26% are interested in sports/adventure sports

  • 100% Puneites are interested in attending music and cultural events and they have no interest in food/wine, art & history, exhibitions, movie or theatre fest
  • 67% Mumbaikars are interested in cultural fest and 50% in food/wine
  • 50% Delhiites wish to go for sports and adventure and only 33% wish to attend cultural fests

Activities on mind   

94% Indians are shopaholic wherever they go and 55% wish to check out the city-specific activities and cultural performances. 47% Indian want to discover unexplored destinations

  • 100% people from Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune wish to shop even while traveling
  • 71% from Pune and 64% from Mumbai wish to enjoy city-specific activities and cultural performances while only 38% from Hyderabad wish to do that
  • Discovering unexplored destinations are enjoyed by Pune at 57% and Mumbai at 50%
  • Experimenting with local cuisines and drinks gauge interest by only 57% travelers from Mumbai

Day excursion and river/sea cruise create maximum interest from Indians when travelling for vacation at 59% and 48% respectively. Whereas, only 11% wish for a luxury car drive

  • 67% travelers from Hyderabad and 60% each from Pune and Delhi wish to enjoy the river/sea cruise, whereas only 33% from Mumbai wish to do that
  • Adventure sports only interests 60% Delhiites and 33% from Mumbai whereas 0% from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune wish to do that
  • Day Excursion is something that everyone wants to try out, 100% of Hyderabad and 60% of Delhi, Bangalore, Pune wish to do it
  • Club crawling, pubbing and guided tours to red light areas has 40% of Bangaloreans interested
  • Cabarets/Lido/Tiffany’s Show has 67% from Hyderabad and 40% from Bangalore, Delhi and Pune interested

Indulgences Galore!   

  • 31% Indians wish to explore the city with locals and 30% wish to indulge in adventure sports, whereas 21% are curios collectors. 20% wish to sleep during their vacation and 15% Indians wish to over eat.
  • 24% Delhiites and 23% Hyderabadis wish to enjoy their vacation sleeping. 22% Bangalorean, 18% Puneites and 14% Mumbaikars fall in the same category
  • 17% each of Delhiites and Bangalorean wish to eat till they don’t fit in their cloths. Followed by 14%, 13% and 12% respectively by Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai
  • Only 17% and 16% of Hyderabadi and Mumbaikars respectively and 12% each of Pune and Delhi and 11% Bangalorean wish to get intimate with their partners on summer vacation
  • 17% Delhiites and 16% Hyderabadis enjoy shopping for stuff they don’t need followed by 9%, 8%, 7% respectively by Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai
  • 37% Puneites and 33% Mumbaikars wish to enjoy adventure sports whereas only 22% Hyderabadis wish to do that
  • 39% Bangaloreans like to explore the city with the locals compared to 21% Puneites
  • 28% Puneites are curios collectors topping the list compared to 17% Bangalorean
  • 13% Mumbaikars wish to spend on spa treat to detoxify & rejuvenate and only 9% Hyderabadis enjoy the same

Yes, we are Social Beings!   

25% Indians either never post on social media during vacation or do so once they are back from vacation

  • 25% Puneites post multiple times on social media and 0% Bangaloreans wish to do that during vacations
  • 25% Delhiites prefer to not post anything on social media while they are on vacation compared to 8% from Pune
  • 28% Delhiites prefer to post once a day on social media while on vacation and only 20% Mumbaikars do the same
  • 30% Puneites post at-least once a week on social media and only 16% do the same during vacation
  • 48% Indian talk and interact more with the locals and 28% don’t interact much with locals
  • 54% from Bangalore top in interacting with locals and at 39% Delhi is the least interested
  • 15% from Hyderabad wish to mingle/hang out with Indians and 9% from Bangalore wish to do the same
  • 14% Bangaloreans wish to avoid Indian who are loud and litter around whereas only 10% Delhiites wish the same
  • 30% from Pune wish to be on their own and don’t interact much whereas 26% from Bangalore and Mumbai feel the same


Please see the infograph here (Courtesy of Expdia and Travel Daily News)


Expedia Mobile Survey 2014: Indians Globally Most Hooked On To Gadgets

In October 2014, Expedia released a mobile survey that highlights the maturation of Indian traveller who is fast moving up the ladder of travel apps and is no longer hooked with conventional modes of bookings. This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm.  This survey was conducted online from August 25 to September 17, 2014 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels. The study was conducted among 8,856 employed adults aged 18 years of age and older across 25 countries.

Commenting on the insights of the survey, Vikram Malhi, MD, Asia, Expedia said “We decided to conduct this survey to understand the booking behaviour of the neo Indian traveller. The findings clearly suggest an increasing dependency on the mobile platform.  95% Indian respondents feel that their smartphone is very or of critical importance to their daily life.  Further Indians lead in app booking and data roaming plans globally. In fact, 75% of Indians who have used their smartphone or tablet to book a hotel have booked a hotel stay using a mobile app (the highest of any country) and 68% of Indians say they purchase an international data or roaming plan for their mobile device(s) while traveling away from their home network. With the rise of the smartphones, desktop is becoming an obsolete instrument, with only 28% using it for travel booking, second lowest globally” he added.

Enclosing the detailed findings of the survey:

Indians high on tech gadgets

·         India has the highest number of Smartwatch owners globally, with 18% of them owning/using the device

·         India has the second highest number of Google Glass owners (6%) after South Korea (8%)

·         85% of Indians currently have and use a laptop (Fourth highest in the world after Denmark (89%), Austria (86%) and Norway (86%)

Because we can’t live without gadgets!

·         On being asked about how important are these devices, Indians scored the highest with 95% saying that their smartphone is very or of critical importance for them, 90% saying it for laptops and 66% seeing tablets as very or critically important

How about leaving them at home when travelling for pleasure? No way!

·         India ranked 5th in number of people saying they always bring their smartphone with them on leisure trips, with 88% of Indians who have at least one mobile device saying they always travel with their smartphone on leisure trips, and 38% say they always travel with a tablet.

·         Indians rank second highest in carrying laptops with them on leisure trips (47%) after UAE (48%)

·         Indians are the most likely globally to travel with a Smartwatch on leisure trips (9%)

For work trips, laptop most important!

·         74% of Indians carry a laptop on work trips, second highest after Mexico (79%)

Work life balance? Thumbs up!

·         Indians use their mobile devices more frequently when travelling than when at home.  Only 35% Indians say they use their mobile device most frequently when at home vs. 80% of Canadians

Office giving tech perks? Big yes!

·         55% of employed Indians who have a mobile device have a work paid phone, tablet and / or laptop, the highest globally

·         75% of Indians who have a work-paid phone, tablet or laptop, take their device with them on vacation, second highest after Norway (82%)


What do we really do on mobile devices? Food, travel, entertainment…we want it all!

·         India has the highest number of travellers saying they frequently use their mobile devices for maps or navigation when travelling (61%)

·         Indians are in the top 4 in terms of using their mobile device for entertainment (games, music, movies, tv shows) when travelling (35%) – Top three – UAE (42%), Thailand (41%) and Brazil (39%)

·         Indians rank third highest in terms of using their mobile devices for travel assistance, translation, currency conversion, travel guides, with 31% of Indians using their mobile device for these purposes when travelling (Top two countries are Singapore (33%) and Hong Kong (32%)

·         22% of travellers from UAE, Ireland, Mexico and India read e-books/ magazines on their mobile devices when travelling, far higher than travellers from other regions.

·         Indians are among the most likely in the world to use their mobile devices for dinning related purposes (reservations, reviews, recommendations) when travelling (16%), surpassed only by Mexicans (19%) and Italians (19%)

·         India has the highest number of travellers using their mobile devices to access last minute travel booking apps (15%) and fitness / weight loss apps as well (11%)

We care too much for our mobile device

·         Indians are more anxious than travellers from other countries about losing their mobile device, with 34% ranking it 1st or 2nd in terms of what would make them most anxious if unexpectedly lost.

Why so scared? We feel insecure and wrecked!

·         43% of Indians say they would feel insecure, isolated or ship-wrecked if their mobile device was lost or stolen while travelling, a feeling surpassed only be travellers in South Korea (47%)

·         After Brazil (41%), Indians (35%) are most likely to say losing their mobile device while on vacation would make them feel anxious because all their apps, music and social networks are on their device.

Texting! E-mailing! Clicking! Gaming – we don’t care about the public!

Globally, Indians are most likely to use their mobile technology in public areas in the following ways when travelling…

·         Making phone calls while dining – 43%

·         Playing games, music without earphones – 36%

·         Entertaining children with games/apps – 34%

·         Making calls on speakerphones – 25%

Internet? No negotiation there!

68% Indians say they purchase an international data or roaming plan for their mobile device(s) while traveling away from their home network – the highest globally

Phone is all we need!

Indians are second highest in keeping a power cord with them at all times to be used in case of dead battery. UAE is at top with 29% where as 28% Indians do so

All-rounder users

·         79% of Indians use laptops to make travel bookings, which is second only to Norway (81%)

·         55% of Indians use their smartphone to make travel bookings, again second only to Thailand (56%)

·         27% have made bookings through a tablet which makes India’s number second highest after Thailand (28%)

Desktop not for us anymore!

·         Only 28% use a desktop for making travel booking which is the second lowest after Norway (25%)

We know how to use it the best!

When asked what they have done on a Smartphone for business purposes, categories that Indians surpass all other countries include:

·         Receiving  flight alerts – 47%

·         Documenting /capturing travel expenses -40%

·         Booking a hotel – 36%

·         Shopping for ground transportation- 34%

·         Booking ground transportation – 31%

·         Checking into a hotel – 29%

Leisure travellers are no less!

In terms of activities done on a Smartphone for leisure travel, India was highest globally for…

o   Receiving flight alerts – 45%

o   Booking a hotel – 43%

o   Checking in for a flight – 37%

o   Booking ground transportation – 33%

Leisure travellers pro in booking hotels and ground transportation

·         When travelling for pleasure, Indians are more likely than travellers from other countries to use their tablets to book hotels (45%), shop for ground transportation (30%) and document / capture travel expenses (30%)

Booking with the swipe of their finger

·         75% of Indians who have used their smartphone or tablet to book a hotel have booked a hotel stay using a mobile app (the highest of any country)

·         Of Indians who have used a mobile app to book a hotel stay, online travel agent such as Expedia, and are the most popular (69%)


Free Wi-Fi? Definitely counts?

·         62% of Indians say, WI-FI availability or pricing (e.g., free Wi-Fi vs. not having to pay for Wi-Fi) impacts their purchase decisions when searching for and booking flights or hotels.


All prim & proper!

·         86% of Indian travellers always book their hotel before they arrive at their travel destination whereas only 49% plan their activities ahead.


What if not well prepared?

Among Indian travelers who don’t always book their hotel in advance…

·         47% book their hotel using a mobile app (highest of any country)

·         36% just walk into a hotel to book their room

·         30% use the local travel agent/tourism office to book


Travel accompaniments expected

·         When booking a hotel for personal travel, 43% of Indian travellers say complimentary Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public areas is very important

·         37% of Indians say access to high-speed Internet (at least 15Mbps) is very important.  In fact, along with travellers from Thailand (38%) and the US (37%), Indians place more importance on high-speed internet than travelers from other countries.

·         Indian travelers also place more importance than travellers from most other countries on business centers with computers and printers (28% say is very important) and a dedicated mobile app with special digital features or offers (24%) when booking a hotel for personal travel.


Important considerations when booking a hotel for business travel

·         Wi-Fi:The APAC region places more importance on Complimentary Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public areas, with travellers from Singapore placing the highest importance on this amenity than travellers from any other country (62% rate it as very important when booking a hotel for business travel)

·         High speed Internet:Malaysians place the highest importance on high-speed Internet (57% rate it as very important), followed travellers from the US (5%), Thailand (54%), Brazil (53%) and India (53%)

·         Wired Internet in room:Malaysians place the highest importance on a wired Internet connection in-room (51% rate it as very important), followed by travellers from  Mexico (50%)  and Singapore (48%)

·         Business Centre:Thai travelers place the most importance on a cusiness center with computers and printers available for guest (45% rate as very important), followed by travellers from Mexico (44%) and India (42%)

·         Dedicated Mobile App:34% of Indian business travellers say a dedicated mobile app with special digital features or offers is very important, the importance Indians place on this amenity is surpassed only by travellers from Thailand (36%) and Singapore (35%)


Why use mobile during a business trip?

·         While 38% of Indian business travellers say they are only likely to use a mobile device to book a business trip if they do not have access to their laptop or desktop, almost three-in-ten (29%) say they would use a mobile device to book a business trip any time

What’s your device?

·         If using a mobile device to book business travel, 60% of Indians would prefer to use a smartphone (the highest of any country)

What’s your personal pick?

If booking a hotel for business using a mobile device, Indians place the most importance on a list of amenities available at the hotel (49% say this is very important), followed by details about the location of the hotel (48%) and adherence to company’s travel policies (45%) – with Indians placing more importance on the latter than travelers from any other country

Information travelers want from travel apps:

When traveling for business, Indians feel it is most essential for a travel app to provide maps and directions (63%), automatic updates to an itinerary (61%), the ability to check into a flight (52%) and the location of local services / amenities (52%).  Indians also place more importance than travelers from other countries on automatic updates to travel manager (39%)

Survey Methodology

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm.  This survey was conducted online from August 25 to September 17, 2014 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels.  The study was conducted among 8,552 employed adults aged 18 years of age and older across 24 countries (note: in South Korea, sampling was done among individuals 24 years of age and older).

Sampling quotas and weighting were used to ensure the sample is representative of each country’s population in terms of age and gender. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-1.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


Please see the infograh here (Courtesy of Expedia)


By: Jens Thraenhart (MTCO) & Sheila Leong (Eon Events)

Sources: Skift, Tourism Intelligence Center, eRevMax, Expedia India

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