India among fastest growing business travel markets, shows study

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India is amongst the fastest growing business travel markets globally and is expected to be a USD 50 billion market by 2017. India is amongst the fastest growing business travel markets globally and is expected to be a USD 50 billion market by 2017.
SummaryIndian tarvellers are at the top when it comes to upgrading hotel rooms during business trips.

Indian business travellers are most likely to splurge during trips by availing hotel room upgrades, high end meals and room service during their visit, compared to those from other countries, a study has found.

Indians were at the top when it came to upgrading their hotel rooms during business trips, while they were placed second when it came to enjoying high-end meals, a joint study by Expedia-Egencia on 'Future of Travel' has found.

Around 48 per cent Indians (globally highest) preferred to have their hotel room upgraded, while 55 per cent preferred to enjoy high-end meals during their trips abroad.

About 44 per cent Indians undertake five business trips in a year, followed by 39 per cent Thai people, but when it came to leisure travel, 34 per cent Indians travel more than five times a year, the second highest globally after 39 per cent Thai nationals.

Around 44 per cent Indian said they had turned their business trip into a vacation but travelled alone for the business part and 42 per cent said they have had a family member or friend join them, it said.

The study was conducted online between August 20 and September 12 to analyse the behaviour and preferences of employed adults of the age 18 and above across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America by Harris Interactive.

It found that about 34 per cent Indians took two-day business trip, which was highest in the segment, followed by The Netherlands and Spain (28 per cent) and Canada (27 per cent).

"The survey shows a clear progression of Indian travellers with respect to increasing number of trips annually, both business and leisure. In fact, Indian business travellers are among the most likely to splurge during business trips when compared globally," Vikram Malhi, General Manager, South and Southeast Asia, Expedia, said.

"India is amongst the fastest growing business travel markets globally and is expected to be a USD 50 billion market by 2017. The business travel industry in India is maturing very quickly. The Indian business traveller expects best in class technology," Gaurav Sundaram, Country Director Egencia India, said, adding that they were using smartphone and/or tablets for travel booking.

Most important criteria for Indians on a business trip was travel time, direct flights or layovers (54 per cent), location of hotel (51 per cent) and flight time (38 per cent) against globally most important factors: hotel location (53 per cent), price of hotel room (44 per cent), travel time, direct flights or layovers (42 per cent) and airfare (36 per cent).

When it comes to leisure, most important criteria for Indians were location of hotel (54 per cent) and price of hotel room (54 per cent), airfare (43 per cent), staying in a nice or luxurious hotel (34 per cent) against global factors of price of hotel room (63 per cent), airfare (50 per cent) and hotel location (50 per cent) and travel time, direct flights or layovers (33 per cent).

Around 11 per cent Indians gave preference to hotels' loyalty programmes (fourth highest after the US-15 per cent, South Korea-12 per cent, Hong Kong-12 per cent).

Also, the study found that Indians were bad at balancing work on trips as 44 per cent worked for more hours and 35 per cent work lesser hours during business trips.

Only 22 per cent worked for the same amount of hours on trips. 25 per cent Indians did not extend their business trip into leisure (second lowest compared to most countries after Malaysia 23 per cent)

Indians were among the top five to give importance to loyalty programs while booking flight or hotels.

About 92 per cent Indians found loyalty programmes at least somewhat important while booking hotels while 89 per cent found loyalty programmes important while booking flights.

Among those who have some of the strongest feelings of entitlement toward their travel reward points were Brazilians (96), Mexicans (91), Hong Kong (90) and Indians (90).

The study also found that Indians were the worst cribbers.

Only three in 10 Indians have not posted a negative travel-related comment, while 40 per cent crib about hotels and 36 per cent about restaurants.

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