Online Travel Cos Find New Ways To Attract Budget Travelers
Despite India’s relatively slow growth in travel spending, online travel sales are forecast to experience a significant rise in the coming years. What’s driving this trend is the price-conscious Indian traveller, who is the world’s biggest holiday-bargain-hunters. Indian travelers want more ways to pay when buying travel online, according to new research from Worldpay, a payment processing company. The research notes in order to to gain the loyalty of Indian shoppers, online travel agents must recognize that Indian travelers are on the lookout for both bargains and new ways to pay online.
The survey titled ‘ Why Do They Pay That Way?’ Worldpay polled 2,000 travellers in India and revealed that more than three quarters of Indians (76 per cent) selected their travel destinations because of a sale of cheap flights and holidays. What’s more, although 49 per cent of Indian travellers planned to use a credit card to book their next holiday, a stunning 96 per cent of Indian credit and debit card users said they would, in reality, prefer to book their package holiday using Net banking.
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“Merchants, who offer alternative payment methods, rather than just credit or debit cards, will be in a strong position to get more sales now and attract new shoppers as India’s middle class and online spending power continue to expand,” said Phil Pomford, General Manager Asia Pacific, Global eCommerce, Worldpay.
Although India has yet to match other emerging markets in internet and mobile penetration - there are just 18 internet users and 1.24 fixed broadband subscriptions for every 100 people - the country’s potential for growth is staggering. India’s GDP grew 7.6per cent in the 2015/16 fiscal year, and e-commerce spending is predicted to triple by 2019. Worldpay’s research affirms this trend, with the majority of travelers saying they prefer to do holiday research online (87per cent). Amongst the six markets surveyed in the research, India also leads the way on m-commerce adoption with 65per cent of travellers saying would be happy to use their smartphone to buy travel on the move. As India’s internet penetration and middle class continues to grow, online travel agents can expect to see more and more travellers booking holidays online.
It’s also important for online travel agents to recognize that Indian travellers are the world’s most likely to save for a holiday. 67 per cent of Indians said they had paid for last holiday out of savings, making their spending habits similar to those in Brazil, another BRIC nation. 41 per cent of Indian travellers prefer their holiday payments to go out of their current accounts, either by debit card (25 per cent) or Net banking (16per cent). At the same time, 8 5per cent said they were interested in paying for their next holiday by installments - indicating that India’s savings culture may be changing.
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“Payment preferences in India vary greatly from consumer to consumer. Many travelers are credit-wary and prefer to save up before buying a holiday; others turn to credit cards because they are simple to use and offer discounts or rewards; and still more look to installment plans to spread the cost of a pricey holiday,” added Pomford.
According to him, these varying trends, along with the fact that over 95 per cent of card users said that, if given a choice, they would prefer to book their next flight or holiday package using net banking.
This sends a strong signal to online travel agents to gear up and get innovative in order to gain the trust of customers in the online travel space.
Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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