comScore - South East Asia digital focus - online travel 2

A deep dive into reach and popularity of online travel brands in India and Southeast Asia

Priceline is top (by unique visitors) in five out of six countries in Southeast Asia, reports comScore, the web traffic measurement service.

In two reports – India digital future in focus 2013 and Southeast Asia digital future in focus 2013 – Comscore reveals top travel sites by country, average time spent by users in travel sites, and a number of data points.

Online travel in India

India has the highest reach in the travel category in countries such as Brazil, Russia, and China, but India’s reach of 38% surpasses the worldwide reach of 36%.

Here, “reach” is defined as the % of total user base in the market for a category. For example, 38% reach in the travel category in India means that out of the total population of 74 million internet users in India, some 38% visit travel sites every month.

Also, the average time spent by Indian users in travel portals is the highest among Brazil, Russia, China and worldwide.

China has 348 million internet users (a 54% marketshare among online users in APAC) and one in four users visit a travel portal.

comScore - India digital focus - online travel 1

Chart below shows the top ten travel websites in India by unique visitors. One interesting element to note is that apart from TripAdvisor, there are no other global travel brand in the list.

Indian government owned railway portal (IRCTC) tops the list of travel sites, with unique visitors to the brand almost double those of MakeMyTrip, the second site in the top ten.

In terms of minutes spent per visitor in travel portals, IRCTC has almost four times the number for MakeMyTrip. But, based on this data we cannot conclude that IRCTC has the highest user engagement.

We also have to factor in the slow response time of the railway portal during peak hours, multiple session time-outs and its high failure rates. Believe it or not, it often takes up to one hour to book a train ticket during peak hours.

The top ten list has four OTAs, four travel information/discussion services, a rail booking portal and a bus booking portal (redBus).

comScore - India digital focus - online travel 2

Online travel in Southeast Asia

Perhaps the headline stat in this report is that almost one in two web users in Singapore have regular access to travel services online, but when it comes to average amount of time spent by users on travel sites, Indonesia takes the lead by a huge margin.

comScore - South East Asia digital focus - online travel 1

Nevertheless, Singapore tops the reach of all travel sub-segments in Southeast Asia.

comScore - South East Asia digital focus - online travel 2

Charts below show the top five travel portals by country in Southeast Asia. Inevitably, tops this list in five countries and TripAdvisor also makes an appearance in five .

Apart from Thailand, all other countries have at least two airline sites in their respective top five lists.

comScore - South East Asia digital focus - online travel 3

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Karthick Prabu

About the Writer :: Karthick Prabu

Karthick was general manager for Tnooz in Asia until September 2014.



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  1. Adam Laundy

    agoda in Indonesia has about 1.5 millions unique in Indonesia has about 1.4 million unique

    good luck

  2. WIlliam V.

    Interesting stats!

    What really strikes me the most is that people are willing to wait an hour for their transaction to complete. The average load time that the typical US online user is willing to tolerate is about 3 seconds.

    In terms of time spent on site… does it factor in the load/response time when the user navigates in between pages within the site?


    • Karthick Prabu

      Karthick Prabu

      Hi William,

      In India, trains are preferred by many people for their long distance journeys. Indian railway reserves a fixed number of seats (in addition to other seats that can be booked well in advance) that can be booked only 2 days before the journey. This process is called “Tatkal” in India.

      The 2 day window opens at 10 AM everyday. Example: For a train journey that is on 05-September-2013, the tatkal booking can be done only after 10 AM on 03-September-2013.

      So, everyday (approx) from 9:45 am till 11:30 am, the site will be very slow. The site won’t even open for many users. Waiting time to move from one page to the next will be in few minutes. So, imagine the total time it takes to enter search criteria, select train, enter passenger details, confirm details, enter payment, process payment, and finally display the confirmation detail. Failure rates (payment gateway error, page redirection error) are steep during this timeframe. Indian government is aware of this performance issue and they have announced budgets for this financial year to revamp the website. Tentatively the new website launch is scheduled for this year end.


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