Indian travelers prefer air travel to trains

04th July 2017
Indian travelers  prefer air travel to trains
Image courtesy Erco Travels

Bangalore July 4 2017:  The domesrtic travel business in India is growing at a healthy 11  and more and  is expected to become a $ 48 billion market by 2020, finds a joint study by Google and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The report titled, ‘Demystifying the Indian Online Traveler’  suggests that:

  • The biggest contributor, air travel expected to grow at 15% to $30 billion.
  • Hotels will grow at 13% to $13 billion by 2020.   As more people come online, smartphone penetration improves and use of digital payments goes up, the Indian online hotel market will grow to US $4 billion at a CAGR of 25%.
  • Railways will remain largely stagnant at $5 billion -- which does not speak well for how a government monopoly sector is responding to Indians' urge to travel

Says Vikas Agnihotri, Industry Director, Google India: “India’s domestic travel market is on an acceleration path. One of the key findings of the report is that by 2020, one in three hotel rooms will be booked online - a clear indicator of  the growing importance of digital in travel research, planning and booking. There are several actionable insights for domestic online travel players including the role of mobile and the level of curation and personalization that Indian travelers are looking for."
The report shows that for a majority of Indian consumers a vacation is a well thought through event, the planning for which starts several weeks in advance. On average, travel consumers spend 49 minutes spread over 46 days, visiting as many as 17 different online touchpoints to plan, research and make a booking. However the length of each online session is less than 3 minutes, due to the ubiquity of mobile. Through their journey, Indian travelers tend to flip back and forth across different online destinations, checking availability and comparing prices across different providers and connectivity.
Adds Abheek Singhi, Senior Partner and Asia Pacific Head of Consumer Practice, BCG: “Travel is a high investment – both monetary and emotional - category. Technology has led to democratization of travel through better information and price discovery – and  will  lead to 11-11.5% growth in years ahead. The question is “ how to address the 17 different touchpoints of three minutes each over 49 days!The imperative for players is to use technology and advanced analytics capability to understand individual micro journeys and offer personalized and curated travel solutions.”