A study by
Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions shows that 81 per cent users of MSN and Windows Live in India prefer the internet for information on leisure and business travel, outdoing traditional media like newspapers (40 per cent) and magazines (29 per cent). The 'Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions Online Travel Survey' also reveals that seven out of ten Asians find the internet a key source of information for travel products and services, and find it convenient to make travel reservations online.
"The explosion of Internet connectivity in Asia has had a dramatic effect on how people conduct day to day business, communicate with friends and family, and on how they plan for their holidays and make travel purchases," said Jaspreet Bindra, country manager, Online Services Group, Microsoft, in a press statement.
The study further reveals that of the most purchased items online, 48 per cent constitute air tickets and 22 per cent, hotel reservations. It predicts that over the next twelve months, air tickets will constitute 69 per cent and travel packages will constitute 44 per cent of online purchases; followed by sightseeing tours (27 per cent). For travel planning online, portals are visited by 55 per cent of those surveyed, ahead of airline and hotel websites, travel guides and search engines.
Asians plan their trips two months in advance, and make reservations up to six weeks in advance, adds the survey. Eight out of ten of the Asians surveyed said they were considering a holiday in the next twelve months. Indians plan their trips six weeks in advance and make reservations only four weeks ahead.
The study adds that MSN and Windows Live users in India have taken an average of 84 per cent air trips and over the past 12 months. 86 per cent have stayed in hotels over this period for an average 4.1 nights for leisure trips and 5.7 nights for business trips.
91 per cent of the Indians surveyed claimed they were the key decision makers for their family travel plans. 73 per cent of them do their travel planning online from home, while two-fifths do so from work. They also expressed their interest in sharing their travel experiences online through photo albums, e-mail, instant messaging and blogs.
The survey report is based on the responses of 7,000 MSN and Windows Live users in ten Asia Pacific countries, including India, between November 2006 and April 2007.