Mumbai leads Indian cities in online travel searches and state-wise Gujarat has been ranked lowest with just 2.36 per cent of people searching for tour destinations, according to a new survey report. Survey by MyTourReview, a review platform for tour operators into holiday habits of Indian consumers for 2016, shows that internet users in Mumbai lead online travel searches accounting for 11.6 per cent of people searching for travel destinations,tour packages and making online enquiries. Bangalore (10.38 per cent), Hyderabad (9.98 per cent), Chennai (9.40 per cent), New Delhi (5.79 per cent) Lucknow (5.76 per cent) Pune (5.64 per cent) and Kochi (5.46 per cent) are the other cities where people are making their travel choices online.
“Statewise, Maharashtra (19.48 per cent) topped the list followed by Karnataka (12.38 per cent), Telengana (10.98 per cent) and Delhi (10.56 per cent) and Gujarat ranked the lowest with just 2.36 per cent of online travel searches,” it said. The survey of more than 3,300 users shows that 75 per cent of honeymoon trips were booked online and 73 per cent of people booked package holidays because everything is taken care of. Around 36 per cent of respondents said they choose their destinations for travel inspired by pictures posted on Facebook or Instagram by friends.
The majority of them, around 82 per cent, said they choose hotels based on reviews on portals such as TripAdvisor and MyTourReview, and recommendations from travel companies. MyTourReview features more than 700 tour operators across the world and has reviews from tens of thousands of users. The Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI), which created the MyTourReview platform exclusively for customer reviews for tour operators, says the survey response shows how important it is for travel businesses to maintain online visibility, carry out digital branding and engage with customers on social media networks.
“Conventional tour operators, especially in India, may think online customer reviews and ratings or being present on the internet is secondary to their business, but they need to realise the impact that digital platforms are having on the decisions Indians make on holiday travel,” said ATTOI President Anish Kumar P K. “If your website does not show up in Google searches, if you are not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or responding to customer reviews on TripAdvisor and MyTourReview, you may be losing out on large volumes of business,” he said.