Russia-based online travel agency Amargo makes for some good insight into the region’s online travel segment if you believe current growth figures and market predictions.
The company, which says it’s the only player to offer flight plus other travel elements, experienced a three-fold increase in transactions last year.
And, in a bid to continue to capitalise on that growth it recently improved its search and booking process with filters for flights and hotels as part of a wider platform upgrade.
An extended personal area allows users to see loyalty points, save journeys, register for deals and add details of fellow travellers.
The latest market predictions also demonstrate the potential for online travel in the region, a trend picked up at the PhocusWright@ITB conference earlier this year.
- Online booking in Russia increased 40% to reach $4.2 billion to 2011, 7% of the total travel market ¬†(PhocusWright predicts it will increase to more than $6 billion in 2012)
- Flights are still the biggest segment of online with 90% of all trips including a flight, hotels are about 5% and other services (car hire, insurance etc) the remaining 5
- Hotels booked online increased 80% last year but this segment is predicted to increase six-fold in the next three years.
The majority of Amargo’s customers are Russians with 60% booking domestic trips and 40%, international trips while only 7% are visitors coming to Russia.
Customers are aged between 20 and 35 with above average income although older consumers, 45 years and up, are steadily increasing.
Amargo, which uses OpenJaw technology, plans to enable booking for car-rental and villas and apartments as well as a visa support service by the end of this month.
Incidentally, Oktogo has done some number-crunching on St Peterburg and Moscow residents to gain insight into the behaviour of online travellers.
The research reveals:
- 81% are prepared to use an online service for booking travel
- 70% of all bookings are supported by calls or letters to the customer service department
- 72% use search giants such as Google and Yandex for research
- 62% seek out advice from friends and family
- 25% trust online reviews
- 76% believe products on the internet and cheaper
- in general St Petersburg residents tended to stay north opting for trips to Finland while Moscow customers opted for hotter destinations such as France, Spain and Turkey
The research was carried out on 1,000 consumers in the two cities in conjunction with Synovate Comcon