Asian Tourists Turn To The Web For Bookings

August 12, 2007

More consumers are using the internet to book their holidays according to online accommodation provider HotelClub.

Releasing the findings of its global consumer survey, HotelClub found that of the 49.5% of those surveyed indicated that they book travel online either through hotel or airline websites (30.6%) or online travel agent (18.9%).

The online survey by HotelClub was undertaken from October to December 2006 and received more than 80,000 hotel nominations.

As part of the survey consumers were asked questions on their travel habits - in addition to voting for their favourite budget hotels, getaway resort or luxury accommodations. These included questions relating to travel frequency, influences in selecting a hotel, preferred booking method, influences for travel purchase decision and online purchases.

Key results from the survey include:
  • The internet is the most influential channel used to make travel purchase decisions with 51.1% of respondents indicating they use the internet for research on their travel purchase, followed by word of mouth (26.2%), and magazines (7.1%)
  • The two most popular travel related products to be purchased online (over a 12 month period) were flights (50.3%) and accommodation (35.1%).
  • 81% of respondents prefer 4 and 5 star hotels, with almost half (48.5%) of respondents electing to stay in 4 star hotels.
  • Leading factors influencing the respondents' hotel selections were location (45.7%), price (21.3%) and facilities (15.6%).
  • 78% of respondents travel (within a twelve month period) once per year (40.6%) and 37.4% travelled 2-4 times per year.
'These survey results are truly outstanding. We are seeing a major shift in the way consumers across Asia booked their holidays. Consumers are embracing the Internet to make an informed travel purchase decision. The survey indicates that consumers are price conscious when making a booking online - but they also realise the value savings that the internet provides, making hotel and accommodation choices affordable for more consumers,' said Ms Chloe Lim, Managing Director for HotelClub.

'We have been seeing growth from this region for the past couple of years. These results show that Asian consumers are savvy and well-travelled, and understand the convenience and affordability of online accommodation (and travel) bookings,' Ms Lim said.

These survey results reflect the trends that HotelClub has seen from its Asian consumer bookings. During the past twelve months HotelClub has seen an increase of more than 40% in bookings. Additionally unique visits to HotelClub its Asian customer base, have increased by 70% (2006 compared with 2005). Early indications for 2007 show that visits to HotelClub have increased by 45.7% and bookings have also grown by 36.3%.

As well, more HotelClub customers are making bookings that are of three days in length with an average booking value of US$280. This reflects the trend that consumers are taking more frequent but shorter breaks such as long weekend trips (up to four long weekend trips of up to three days) rather than long holidays that they may only take once a year.

The total estimated size of the Asian online travel market is $US20.9 billion. As internet usage increases across Asia, HotelClub expects to see an impact on the online shopping habits of Asian consumers. Currently, 11.3% of the 3.7 billion people in Asia have access to Internet services.

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