Almost over a decade ago, travel websites changed the way people made their travel plans. The ease of making your travel arrangements, booking accommodation, figuring out what you want to while you're traveling, all from one screen seemed like the way to go.
That is until smartphones arrived a few years and completely redefined the online travel ecosystem. The ease of being able to research and plan a journey while you're at your house, out with friends, or even sipping a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop, took it to a whole new level. People could plan their next trip, while taking their current one.
It is therefore no wonder that a recent TripAdvisor report suggests that 42% of travelers around the world today are connected travelers, who have used a smartphone to plan or book a trip. 28% of all travelers use their smartphones to figure out what they want to do while on the trip.
Furthermore, the number of people using mobile apps to book their accommodation has doubled year-over-year. 20% of the connected travelers who make their travel bookings via an app said that they do so because it was easier or faster. 29% even felt that they got a better price or a better deal when booking from an app.
This is because the industry realizes that the intent is rapidly moving from desktop to the smartphone and is aligning itself with the change to engage its audience where it is – on smartphones.
The story is no different for India. 2015 saw 47% of Indian travelers using a smartphone to plan or book a trip. On the other hand, industry estimates suggest that Indian travelers plan to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did in 2015 (with an average travel budget of USD 3100).
This means that as more Indians turn to their smartphones for their travel plans, there's a huge opportunity awaiting marketers to engage them, right from the research and planning stage to offering packaged deals and cross-selling at the pre-purchase stage. Also, as more of these travelers use apps for their local travel needs, there's a strong potential for hyper-local targeting with mobile marketing. If you are looking to engage connected traveler in India, the flight for online travel via smartphones is now boarding.