iXiGO.com, India’s leading travel search engine, has revealed the results of its recent online travel survey, providing unique insights into online travel consumer behavior in India.
The survey was conducted by INSEAD MBAs on behalf of iXiGO.com from August 2009 to February 2010, with responses from over 2,500 Indian online travelers from across a diverse representative sample of Internet users searching or booking travel online. The online travel buying audience unraveled by the survey is that of an affluent, young, well-educated, professional internet users, with almost half the respondents reporting an annual income above INR 5 lakhs per month, 90% of the respondents being graduates, and over 55% being professional degree holders (Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, MBAs).
The results reveal that Indian Internet users have developed a clear preference for booking flights online and have matured into deal-hunters and comparison shoppers, with almost 65% of respondents checking 3 or more travel sites, before making a booking, and 18% of respondents checking 5 or more travel sites before completing a transaction. The Indian traveler’s love for promotions, discounts, deals etc. also came out prominently in the survey, with “Price” and “Good Deals” rated most often as the most important parameters in choosing a website for booking flights, followed by “Comprehensiveness / Choice” and “Simplicity”. In addition, Indian travelers have no clear preference for either airline sites or online travel agency (OTA) sites for completing their transactions, with over 61% of respondents booking “where the best deals are”, 23% preferring to book on airline official sites and 16% sticking to booking on OTA sites.
When it comes to hotel bookings, the buying behavior revealed is that of a maturing online market, with offline channels still competing with online channels for being the most preferred means for booking hotels. The survey finds that there is a marked tendency of travelers needing to speak to someone, checking multiple hotel booking sites and cross-checking offline rates of the hotel directly with the hotel desk or a travel agent, before deciding to book their hotels. However, online travel sites are being used increasingly as a research, comparison and information-gathering tool, and almost 35% of the respondents now book their hotels online. When booking hotels online, “Price”, “Hotel Location” and “Hotel Brand” have emerged as the three most important parameters that help travelers decide which hotel they choose to book.
Dharmendra Yashovardhan, Chief Operating Officer, iXiGO.com summed up the findings – “Our survey pinpoints to a strong need for deal-comparison platforms that allow travelers to compare travel deals across multiple online travel sites, in order to satiate the Indian online traveler’s hunger for deal-hunting and comparison shopping. When it comes to hotels, a more comprehensive aggregation of online and offline hotel deals, location-based hotel mapping and the confidence of getting the best prices online, have emerged as the strongest needs of the hour.”
iXiGO.com, India’s fastest growing travel site and South Asia’s biggest travel search engine, allows business & leisure travelers a quick search & comparison of prices across multiple airline websites, hotel and bus service providers as well as online travel portals, allowing them to save time and money every time they travel by ensuring a more comprehensive & deeper search of available travel options.