Tag Archives: Google

Mid-scale and budget hotels to account for over 50% of branded hotel rooms

According to a report titled ‘Demystifying the Indian Online Traveller’ commissioned by BCG and Google, the Indian hospitality space is expected to accelerate to $13bn worth of gross bookings in 2020, $10bn of which constitutes hotel bookings and the remaining is constituted by bookings of short-term rentals and other lodgings. Players in these alternate spaces have the potential to innovate as travellers, both domestic and foreign, become more open to alternate stay options. In 2020, budget and luxury hotels are expected to be areas of growth. The former is expected to grow at 13.5 per cent driven by the growth of the Aspirers segment on the demand front and the consolidation, standardisation and branding of currently upbranded properties through aggregator-based start-ups on the supply front. Mid-scale hotels or the two-and three-star properties will continue to maintain their dominance.

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Travel agents market in India to be valued at $40 billion by 2022

The Indian travel agents market is expected to reach USD40 bn by 2022, as per a latest study by KPMG and Google. The share of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) is set to increase to 47 per cent in 2022. Currently OTAs in India cater to a range of travel related booking services –airlines, accommodation and lodging, package holidays, cab rentals, cruise sales, travel insurance and other transport services. This includes both leisure and business travel sales. Leisure travel forms a majority of sales for OTAs and continues to remain the focus for major Indian OTAs in the near future. Few players in the accommodation and cab rental spaces maintain their own inventory. While aggregators are focused on on-boarding service providers onto their platform, players with own inventory are more focused on differentiating via service quality.

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Indians went on 26 million international trips in 2018: Google-Bain & Company report

A total of 26 million international trips were taken by Indians last year, as per a Google and Bain & Company report. Last year, they took a staggering 1.8 billion trips — domestic and international — giving the travel and tourism industry a major boost in India. Indian travellers spent nearly $94 billion on transportation, lodging and consumption during their travels. While business travellers spent $37 billion in 2018, leisure travellers spent $57 billion.

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33% of hotel bookings in India to be made online by 2021: Google-Bain & Company report

The proportion of online bookings has been increasing rapidly and is expected to reach 33 per cent of all hotel bookings by 2021 due to a proliferation of online aggregators, according to a latest study titled ‘How does India travel?’ jointly prepared by Google and Bain & Company. The report states that during key research-heavy phase of interest, research and experience, digital plays a pivotal role with over 86 percent of consumers being influenced by online channels. During this phase, travellers spend their maximum time on search, travel tour provider websites, price comparison websites, and travel articles. Online video too plays a significant role with 21 per cent of travellers being influenced by this platform. In the booking and sharing phase, the report states that nearly 60 per cent of customers book transport and lodging online, and over 50 per cent share feedback online with social media being the dominant platform. Talking about the market opportunities for online travel players, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director – Sales, Google India said, “New users perceive that online channels are geared towards the more frequent flyers and experience-oriented travellers; and existing travellers research online but the lack of trust in payments and booking experience make them end up booking offline. If travel players tap these online users through personalised marketing, messaging and travel plans, they can further augment online travel bookings. This can be done by adopting digital technologies to influence customers early in the journey and moving from one-time engagement to ongoing relationships to have a positive impact.” “There is a perception amongst consumers that online channels are geared towards premium customers, along with a marked distrust around payment and pricing terms. It is imperative for businesses …

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Indians to spend an additional $24 billion on online travel bookings by 2021

Online bookings in India are projected to rise from 25 per cent to 35 per cent as internet penetration increases from 33 per cent to 50 per cent, according to a latest study titled ‘How does India travel?’ by Bain & Company and Google. As India’s travel spending is set to grow from $94 billion in travel spending to $136 billion by 2021, around $24 billion (or 57 per cent) of the incremental bookings will be online. The report states that frequent flyers research online and make decisions on the basis of business needs and availability of flights and hotels. They rely heavily on travel provider websites online (59 per cent) and price comparison websites (51 per cent) for airline and hotel reviews and availability with a tendency to search first by mobile device (61 per cent) and then by laptop (26 per cent).

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Airlines dominated Indians’ transport spending with 51%

Indian travellers spend 51 per cent of their transport expense on airlines, as per a latest study titled ‘How does India travel?’ by Bain & Company and Google. The Indian airline industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world. With 10 new airports in the last four years and the decrease of nominal prices by 18 per cent in 2017–18), airlines dominated the transport spending despite operational pressures. Bus price hike due to GST, falling passenger footfalls and preference for self-drive hampered growth in bus travel. Railways’ growth remained stagnant and it lost share to airlines for long-distance travel (>500 kms) and to road for shorter distance travel.

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Medical tourism in India to grow to USD13.3 bn by 2022

Medical tourism in India by international travellers is expected to grow to USD13.3 bn by 2022, according to a report jointly published by KPMG India and Google. About 1.5 million medical tourists are expected to visit the country in 2022. The medical tourism market in India has grown rapidly over the past decade with India becoming one of the largest global medical tourism hubs. Growth has been driven by a rise in international awareness of India’s affordable healthcare, qualified healthcare professional base, coupled with investment into healthcare infrastructure and privately funded healthcare. Foreign tourist arrivals on medical visas are increasing at a CAGR of 51 per cent. Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries are the leading source geographies accounting for more than one-third of visitors. Africa and GCC countries are expected to drive larger inbound volumes in the coming five years. The key growth drivers are alternative medicine (AYUSH), cost competiveness driving medical tourism inflow and quality healthcare and travel options at affordable price points. Indian ayurveda market is growing at approximately 16 per cent CAGR, backed by approximately 1 million traditional medicine doctor base and proactive government promotion. Medical procedures in India cost 70-80 per cent lower compared to average treatment costs in the US. A robust private healthcare sector and budget friendly travel destinations ensure lucrative India travel options for the international tourists.

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Piyush Goyal launches ‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ to showcase India’s rail heritage

Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal has launched ‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture through video conferencing. The project is a landmark effort to showcase the country’s rail heritage to national and international audience in an online story-telling platform. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board; Rajan Anandan, Vice President—South East Asia and India, Google; Amit Sood, Director, Google Cultural Institute, among other dignitaries and UNESCO representatives were among those present on the occasion. Goyal said, “As a 165 year old organisation, the Railways has a lot of material which we need to preserve and leave behind for posterity. Mumbai has a special place in the Railways, being the first railway line to be set up in India. We will be setting up 22 digital screens across different locations in India for showcasing this historic project. This partnership between the Railways and Google also has the dimension of the Wi-Fi, which we have proliferated to over 400 stations in India.” Lohani said that collaboration with Google Art & Culture has enabled Indian Railways to digitise National Rail Museum, Rewari Steam Centre, three World Heritage Railways, CSMT Mumbai building and other prominent aspects of country’s rail heritage.

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Google launches travel guide website ‘Touring Bird’

Google’s in-house start-up incubator ‘Area 120’ has introduced a travel guide website ‘Touring Bird’ that lists tours, attractions and activities for travellers in popular travel destinations. ‘Area 120’ is a workshop for the tech giant’s experimental products. So far, the site provides information about 20 cities, including New Delhi, Prague, Chicago, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Las Vegas, among others. In the upcoming months, they plan to increase their coverage. “When you select a destination city, you’ll see popular attractions, suggested tours and activities, along with prices, options for free guided tours and recommendations from locals and travel bloggers,” Touring Bird website said. The app comes with a build-your-own package feature wherein users would be able to customise and compare filtered offerings by price and preferences, to find the best match to their plan, along with booking and cancelling provisions. “We’re a small team that’s brought together by a common passion for travel and improving the overall travel experience for others. Most of us have a background in building travel products at Google, and we’re all deeply passionate about solving real user problems in this space,” added the website. Users would also be able to bookmark their favourite activities and recommendations — food, destinations, stays and amusements — to a list and share it with fellow travellers. At present, Touring Bird is available in English for desktop as well as mobile users, globally. Source: IANS

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Free WiFi at 400 railway stations

After launching its first free WiFi service from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, Google has announced the completion of the free service at 400 railway stations across India in collaboration with RailTel, the telecom arm of Indian Railways. Dibrugarh in Assam has become the 400th railway station to get the free WiFi service from Google, the company said. Indian Railways had signed an MoU with Google in December, 2015 to launch the service, which offers thirty minutes of free internet access. The average data consumption per user per session has been recorded around 350MB. The project has succeeded in its mission of bringing connectivity to millions of unconnected Indians, leveraging on the nationwide optic fiber network backbone created by RailTel. Within the first year of the project’s launch, 100 of the busiest railway stations across India were brought online, enabling 15,000 people to experience the internet for the first time every day, it said. “With over 8 million monthly unique users connecting to the network, this is a lighthouse project for India and every growing economy that is looking to bring the benefit of connectivity to everyone in their country,” Google India Director Partnership Next Billion Users K Suri said. K Manohar Raja, Executive Director (Enterprise Business) at RailTel said the endeavour has been to bridge the experience divide by providing one of the fastest public WiFi networks in the world. Source: ET Online

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