Internet key avenue for traveller choices: Survey

MUMBAI: Seven out every 10 users refer to the internet information on travel products and services. Moreover they value advertising as a useful source of travel ideas and find it more convenient making travel reservations online.

All these and more are results Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions online travel survey which closed in on responses to about 7,000 people across MSN and Windows Live networks between 20 November 2006 and 9 April 2007 in 10 Asia Pacific countries including India.

The survey also indicates that the internet is favoured by 81 per cent of all MSN and Windows Live users in India as a source for planning and researching upcoming leisure and business travel, outpacing traditional media such as magazines (29 per cent) and newspapers (40 per cent).

Microsoft online services group country manager Jaspreet Bindra said, "The explosion of Internet connectivity in Asia has had a dramatic effect on how people conduct day to day business, communicate with friends and family, and on how they plan for their holidays and make travel purchases. The results of this survey demonstrate the power of online advertising to reach consumers where they are making key purchase decisions."

The survey also found out that online users are active purchasers and they spend a considerable amount doing so. Over the past year, air tickets (48 per cent) and hotel reservations (22 per cent) ranked as the most purchased items online for users in India.

The findings on travel planning reveal that leisure travellers in Asia plan their trips two months in advance, making reservations and purchases as much as five to six weeks ahead of a trip. In India, trips are planned six weeks in advance and purchases made four weeks ahead of a trip.

As media consumption patterns continue to change in India, the importance of the Internet as a channel to reach travellers will continue to grow. According to the survey, eight out of every ten users in Asia is considering taking a holiday in the next 12 months.

"Innovative travel marketers from across the region are already tapping into the rich media opportunities available and by bringing the sights and sounds of the travel experience directly onto the desktop, advertisers can make that all important emotional connection," said Windows Live and MSN India head of digital marketing revenue and strategic business head Rajnish.

Of all survey respondents who plan their travels online, 73% in India do so from home at a time during when they are also checking email, chatting or sharing photos. The survey found that users in India enjoy sharing their travel experience online through photo albums, e-mail, instant messaging and blogs.


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