As mobile devices continue to evolve, the Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker uncovers the impact of mobile phones on booking and travel behaviours. The study revealed that Indian travellers are becoming more spontaneous and placing less emphasis on price. ‘Bleisure’ travel has emerged as the most prominent trend amongst Indian travellers, with 71 per cent of people admitting to booking hotel rooms for a business trip coupled with a short holiday as their travel purpose.
Nearly one-fifth of Indians (18 per cent) admitted leisure as their primary purpose for travel, followed by 10 per cent acknowledging business as their primary purpose for travel. Some of the other prominent revelations from the survey include 81 per cent Indians choosing a laptop or computer as their means for booking a hotel room, while 73 per cent Indians book hotel rooms on mobile. The traditional route of a travel agency received 45 per cent respondents.
According to the Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker, a global study of 9,200 travellers across 31 countries, today’s modern traveller makes four trips a year and on average stays in a hotel 13 nights of the year. Although for some, the hotel becomes their home for a month, as almost 1 in 10 spend more than 31 days a year in a hotel room.
Mobiles and smartphones have emerged as leading channels for hotel booking, primarily since consumers are on the lookout for easy mediums that can provide sufficient choices. A little more than half the people surveyed in India admitted that they book more trips due to smartphones; 73 per cent of people have booked a hotel stay on a mobile device. Business trips (58 per cent), short break elsewhere within India (41 per cent) and booking a hotel room nearby while attending a particular event (37 per cent) are some of the main reasons for making a booking on the mobile.
Booking becomes a secretive affair
Traveller today desire to choose and customise their holidays. While beach destinations are most preferred by honeymooners, FIT segment prefers backpacker destinations such as European cities. Over 40 per cent Indians said that they have booked a hotel while searching for hotels on other devices such as personal computers. Almost 40 per cent Indians admit that they chose to book a hotel room whilst in bed with their partners, 36 per cent Indians book hotel rooms while on public transport, 36 per cent Indians book hotel rooms while they are at airport prior to departure, and 34 per cent Indians book hotel rooms in their office, in between working hours.
According to the study, having the right payment method and offering genuine guest reviews are important factors when booking a hotel on mobile. Nearly every individual today is inquisitive to know minute details while planning a holiday. This comes handy with smartphones as one can download an app and scan through all the details in a few clicks while on the go. The study lists top five influencing factors for people while choosing a hotel room – 75 per cent Indians get influenced by the payment method that suits them, 67 per cent get influenced by genuine guest reviews, 64 per cent are influenced if they feel that the price they pay for booking a hotel room is of best value, 54 per cent are influenced on basis relevant and detailed information on hotel and lastly 51 per cent Indians get influenced if everything is accessible in just a couple of clicks.
More than 80 per cent of people sais that their smartphone makes them more spontaneous when travelling and the fact that 68 per cent of people have made a same day hotel booking and near 30 per cent of holidaymakers book less than a week before travel, seems to highlight that travel booking behaviour is becoming more last minute; 36 per cent of Indian travellers have left booking a hotel to the last minute and booked in the airport lounge, before departure.
It was further revealed that in the past 12 months 34 per cent of Indians booked one or two hotel stays via mobile devices, 31 per cent Indians have booked three to four hotel stays, while 13 per cent booked five to six stays in the past 12 months through mobile devices.
What travellers get on mobile whilst travelling is all about searching, which includes searching and booking a hotel room (73 per cent), how to get from A to B and using maps to get around (61 per cent), searching online to compare deals (60 per cent). Other popular mediums for mobile usage includes booking a flight (59 per cent) and booking a taxi (58 per cent).
Mobile travel of the future
The study looked at what activities travellers would be prepared to do in the future on their mobile devices whilst travelling, and revealed that 82 per cent Indians believe smartphones make them more spontaneous while travelling, 64 per cent Indians said that their mobile devices are their primary information source for finding interesting when travelling, and 52 per cent Indians prefer having all the travel documents (e-tickets, boarding passes, hotel confirmations) stored in or directly accessible through mobile devices instead of having printouts.