India most digitally advanced

Travelport recently released the results of its Global Traveler Survey 2017, which saw Indians on top in terms of using digital assets at all stages of travel, right from planning, booking to experiencing stage.

NISHA VERMA

Rabih Saab, President and Managing Director, EMEA, Travelport, talks about the survey, saying that it was part of an independent research undertaken globally in 19 different markets around the globe, including India, Japan, UK, US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and many more. “We have a multitude of relevant markets for travel and the criteria used was a minimum age of 18 and the respondent travellers at least have undertaken one return flight in the past 12 months. The study was done in August,” he informs.

Talking about India, he shares, “Around 1000 out of 11,000 respondents across the globe, were from India. I am happy to report that India is world champion among the digitally connected consumers. Indian travellers have more access to digital apps and expect more in terms of their travelling experience to communicate with the airlines and hotels through all the stages of travel. This includes planning stage, booking stage, destination stage and post-trip information.” India has excelled in the survey in many segments. Sharing India-specific statistics, he reveals, “67 per cent of Indians use online travel agencies for their booking. Over 50 per cent of Indian consumers use smartphones for research and booking. More than 67 per cent use voice search, which is almost 20 per cent higher than the global average. Another finding revealed that 91 per cent of Indian travellers use peerto-peer reviews while booking a trip. Around 85 per cent use comparison sites to get a good deal. A total of 67 per cent Indians use voice activation to research for their booking destination.”

“Indian travellers have more access to digital apps and expect more in terms of their travelling experience to communicate with the airlines and hotels”

The digital world has changed dramatically over the years. Saab agrees, saying, “Technology has now given a lot more choices and information to the travelling public. At Travelport, through our technology, investment and mobile technologies, we help the consumer make sense of all the information out there through maximising the offerings of airlines, hotels, car rental agencies and indeed any travel provider. This would allow them to project their products, experience and brands to consumers in a way that they are ready to consume them on the go, through a smartphone.”

Adding further on how they are making use of research in their company and provide customers with the right technology, he says, “At Travelport, we are already committed to digital economy. We acquired a company called MTT a couple of years ago, as well as another company called Locomote and we brought all these companies under the folder of Travelport Digital. Thus, we have very clear digital offering for our 7.6 trillion travel and hospitality industry. The findings of the survey will go on to help us tune our investments, which are approximately 200 million dollars per annum, on research and development to ensure that we are providing the best technology to customers so that they can respond to the expectations of the modern traveller.”

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