Budget hotels boosting online booking: Google report

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Branded budget hotel chains in domestic hotel industry are driving the growth of hotel bookings online, revealed a report by Google India compiled by looking at the search trends for both domestic and international travel sector for the upcoming holiday season.

The report further revealed that Internet users in the country are lapping up the budget hotels online which is evident in the growth of Google search queries. Branded budget hotel queries in India are growing at 179 percent Year over Year ( YoY) in comparison to just 36 percent YOY growth in generic budget hotel queries. The overall queries for ‘Accommodations’ as a whole are growing at 37 percent YOY.

“Newer players in the segment have energised the travel vertical by unlocking a brand new inventory online. They have been quick to capitalise on the online demand with aggressive advertising spends in building their brands, which is leading to overall category growth for the Industry,” said Director Sales of Google India Vikas Agnihotri.

“We expect this segment to continue to see massive growth with leisure travel expected to pick up in the coming summer holiday season. As part of our own efforts to boost the sector, we’re sponsoring Great Indian Travel Festival which is currently live – to provide users a central destination for all the great holiday deals that are available online for the upcoming holiday season,” added Agnihotri.

In terms of top destinations searched for accommodation during March to June period of 2015, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi-NCR are the most searched destinations.

The survey also indicated that leisure destinations will be the next growth driver for branded budget hotel category as today out of the top 50 domestic destination searched, only 30% of destinations represent leisure travel.

As per industry estimates, the inventory in the budget hotel space is expected to grow further with both new and existing players expected to bring up to 10,000 new rooms online this year.

In terms of outbound data (International) compiled basis Google search queries Between January to September 2015, 25% of search queries are for International air tickets growing at 43% YOY while 22% of search queries are for International holidays growing at 30% YOY.

UAE, USA and Thailand take the top positions for most searched international destinations with a healthy growth rate of over 35% YOY.

Search queries also reveal that the Indian travelers have taken a liking to niche travel destinations with Seychelles topping the chart followed by Hungary, Czech Republic, Russia, Greece and Norway.

Thailand was the most searched holiday destination between March to June 2015 followed by USA, UAE, Singapore and Maldives.

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