Expedia, one of the world's largest online travel company, today released the results of its mobile survey. The survey 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%)
- 86% of Indians have and use a smartphone
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 by 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
- 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…
- Receiving flight alerts – 45%
- Booking a hotel – 43%
- Checking in for a flight – 37%
- 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, Hotels.com and Booking.com 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%)
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.
Expedia.co.in is the one of the world’s largest online travel companies. It prides itself in helping travellers plan and book their travel by providing personalised service, the latest technology, as well as a wide selection of over 3,25,000 hotels and 400+ airlines. Every local website offers holiday packages, cheap flights, hotel bookings, car hire and in-destination attractions to suit all travelling needs. In Asia, Expedia operates 11 sites including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and India. Expedia has been awarded the ‘Best Online Travel Agent’ in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by TTG Asia, Asia-Pacific’s leading travel trade publication and is voted as the “World’s Leading Online Travel Agency Website” in the 20th annual World Travel Awards (WTA) in 2013.
*Based on a comparison of other full-service online travel agencies, defined as those providing booking and services related to air, hotel, cruise, car and activities to a global customer base. Data based on comScore Media Metrix for Expedia, Inc. Sites, Worldwide, Average Monthly Unique Visitors, Oct '12-Sept '13.
1”The Mobile Travel Landscape: A Multi-Region Spotlight” Cathy Schetzina Walsh, PhoCusWright, April 2014
Photo Caption: Expedia Mobile Survey 2014