Google - Mobile In Travel - Sequential usage 1

Google’s take on mobile influence in Indian and US travel industry

India is going to be a mobile-first country when it comes to the travel industry, says Siddharth Dabhade, head of industry, travel, for Google.

In a conference organized by Travelclick and IDeaS in India, Dabhade made an interesting presentation on the mobile influence in the Indian and US hospitality segment.

We have compiled key takeaway points below.

Mobile is here and now in India

In India, mobile adoption is higher not only in cities, but also in small towns.

Mobile is the best channel to reach people in the age range of 15-34. And, the reach in mobile is better than via television.

Indians spend about 72 minutes on mobile, this is by far the highest compared to any other medium/channel. At the current growth rate,  mobile usage is expected to reach 310+ million by 2015.

India tops the list (among all countries across the globe) for usage of video and social media in mobile.

Mobile influence in the Indian travel industry

In India, a fifth (20%) of search queries for the hospitality industry come from mobile devices. Last year, this number was between 12 and 13%.

Examples for hotel search queries: “hotels in delhi“, “4 star hotels near Bangalore airport“, “Bed and breakfast hotels in Kerala“.

In terms of overall search queries in India, mobile queries have already surpassed queries from desktop and hotel search queries made in high end devices (HED) have already overtaken queries made through WAP mobile devices.

HED volumes on accommodation related queries have grown by 410% year-on-year (December’11 to ’12) while tablet volumes on accommodation related queries have grown by 260% year-on-year for the same period.

India has a total of about 130,000 to 170,000 room nights. Budget hotels generally don’t offer discount over the call center, whereas, few star-rated hotels offer discounts (compared to the rates in various distribution channels) over the phone.

Of the total flight bookings, between 5 and 10% are from mobile devices. With respect to the hotel industry, less than 5% bookings are from mobile, but these numbers are increasing month-on-month.

A total of 15 million people book buses online. Of this, 20% of bookings are from mobile websites and native apps.

Mobile influence in the US travel industry

In the US, travel bookings made through mobiles will amount to about $25 Billion by 2014.

By 2014, mobile revenue will be 18% of the online market and 8% of the total travel market.

In the US in 2012, 22% of the total travel bookings/purchases are from mobile websites, 12% from native apps and the rest from non-mobile sources. For 2011, these numbers were at 20% and 9% respectively.

In 2012, 14% of traveler have purchased extra travel services (ancillary) from mobile websites, 7% from native apps and the remainder are non-mobile sources. For 2011, these numbers were at 12% and 6% respectively.

Consumer behaviour in using devices

Consumers leverage multi-screens (multiple devices) to achieve a task. These usages are classified as,

a) Sequential usage:

  • Moving from one device to another at different times to accomplish a task.
  • This usage is the most common and mostly completed within a day
  • 98% of consumers move between devices on the same day
  • 43% of consumers plan a trip by using devices sequentially
  • Of the 15% of consumers who started to plan a trip on a tablet, 1% moved on to mobile device and 14% moved to a PC to finish the task

Google - Mobile In Travel - Sequential usage 1

Google - Mobile In Travel - Sequential usage 2

Google - Mobile In Travel - Sequential usage 3

b) Simultaneous usage:

  • Using more than one device at the same time for either a related or unrelated activity
  • In this usage, smartphones are the most frequent used devices

c) Complementary usage:

  • Related usage

d) Multi-tasking:

  • Unrelated activity

Overall summary:

The mobile channel is growing fast. It’s very clear that people are now living in the post-PC era. Travel companies who do not have a mobile website or a native app have to think about creating one soon. Brands that have these have to think about optimizing them and adding more features considering the post-PC traveler.

As Alex Bainbridge, Tnooz Node, said in a TnoozLIVE event – “In future, people are going to call it as just ‘travel’ with ‘mobile’ becoming implicit”, mobile is an indispensable channel in the travel industry.

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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. Atir Jog

    It’s right that graph showing above use of mobiles in India .10 years before mobile just for talk. After that it start to use for listening music and camera, but now mobile companies develop and increase technology rapidly. So people can use mobile as a small computer, browsing, internet. Now every industry develop app so people use access their service. People pay bills online, Banking transaction online, flight booking, train ticket and bus ticket booking, Online shopping etc . Taxi companies also develop app for taxi booking easier.

  2. Shyam

    Mobile use is increasing as the article says and as a consequence websites need to be redesigned to look and feel good on small screens like that of a smartphone. If this does not happen the customer will just move away to another site ending up as a loss for the badly designed site.
    I see this lacking with many organizations currently who do not understand the importance of this and thus end up as losers on the mobile front.

  3. Billyzi

    In China, there are 420 million of mobile internet users at the end of 2012, but most of the users are searching for nice photo, story and watch video. Meanwhile, the number of mobile commercial increased 6.6 % in 2012.

  4. Abhinav Kumar

    Not a doubt ,that mobile will get bigger and bigger in India . But most of the corporates are still confused how to harvest this opportunity. I am not sure if just having a mobile application or doing advertisement on smart phone will drive the new change. More innovation is needed in the product side of this mobile revolution.


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