Local OTAs rule India’s growing online travel market

30th Apr 2011
Local OTAs rule India’s growing online travel market

The global online travel agencies (OTAs) may be the biggest names in online travel, but Indian travelers clearly prefer the flavor of OTAs grown closer to home. A recent report by travel industry research authority PhoCusWright revealed the dominance of India’s homegrown OTAs, particularly among air and hotel shoppers.

PhoCusWright’s Indian Online Travel Traffic Report, created in partnership with global digital intelligence provider comScore, tracks the growth of India’s online travel population. More than 40% of Internet users visited the online travel category in 4Q10, representing a 45% increase in unique visitors year over year. By comparison, the total Internet audience grew only 13% over the same period.

OTAs are playing a major role in driving online travel growth. Traffic to OTAs grew faster than that to both the airline and hotel supplier categories, increasing 65% from 4Q09 – 4Q10. In 4Q10, OTAs attracted more than double the unique monthly visitors as airlines, and nearly seven times more than hotel websites.

“In many major travel markets around the globe, OTAs and supplier websites wage fierce battles over online market share,” said Douglas Quinby, senior director, research. “In India, however, local OTAs are beating out not only airlines and hotels in terms of traffic, but also their own global counterparts.”

Led by New Delhi’s MakeMyTrip, the top OTAs in India are all local players. Yatra and Cleartrip round out the top three, with the latter attracting over three times as many monthly unique visitors as the most popular global competitor, Travelocity India. But the global OTAs should not be counted out. Monthly unique visitors to Travelocity India grew more than 250% from 4Q09 – 4Q10, while traffic to Expedia India, the seventh most-trafficked OTA, more than doubled.


PhoCusWright’s Indian Online Travel Traffic Report analyzes traffic volume, growth, cross-visitation and source/loss patterns across key travel subcategories, including online travel agencies, rail, airlines, hotels and more. The report examines the dynamics between supplier and intermediary channels as well as the dominance of local versus global travel companies for individual travel segments. The online travel traffic patterns highlighted in this report illuminate sector-specific dynamics and track the emergence of social media and metasearch within the Indian travel market.

Key topics include:

  * Traffic to key travel website categories for the 15-month period from 4Q09-4Q10 including
      o online travel agencies
      o airlines
      o rail and ground transportation
      o hotels
      o metasearch
      o traveler reviews
  * Travel website rankings within each travel category, including traffic and unique visitor growth
  * Segment-specific comparison of traffic to supplier websites versus OTAs
  * In-depth analysis of key online players, including cross-visitation, source and loss traffic
  * Online traveler segmentation based on online activity, and insight into which travel websites are attracting the most likely bookers

As more of India’s population accesses the Internet via both computers and mobile devices, the share of Indians capable of shopping for and booking travel online will continue to grow. PhoCusWright’s Indian Online Travel Traffic Report (US$695), a Global Edition publication, illuminates the unique growth dynamics impacting the Indian online travel market.


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