According to findings of the first Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions Online Travel Survey, the Internet is favoured by 81 per cent of all MSN and Windows Live users in India as a source for planning and researching upcoming leisure and business travel, far outpacing traditional media such as magazines (29 per cent) and newspapers (40 per cent).
The survey also reveals that across Asia, seven out of every 10 users prize the internet for its depth of information on travel products and services and agree that making travel reservations online is convenient and hassle free. The survey, which provides advertisers and travel marketers with valuable insight into the exploding Asia-Pacific online travel market, also indicates that users value advertising as a useful source of travel ideas.
“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. The results of this survey demonstrate the power of online advertising to reach consumers where they are making key purchase decisions,” commented Jaspreet Bindra, Country Manager, Online Services Group, Microsoft.
Based on responses from close to 7,000 people, the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions Online Travel Survey was conducted online across the MSN and Windows Live networks between November 20th, 2006 and April 9th, 2007. Ten Asia Pacific countries took part in the survey including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Online Users are Active Purchasers
According to the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions Online Travel Survey, MSN and Windows Live users are actively purchasing travel items online and spending a considerable amount doing so. Travel purchases made online ranged from a high of US$2,200 for the last leisure trip taken by Australians and Koreans, to US$700 made by Thai travellers. In India, the average amount spent on the last purchase or reservation was US$1,300 for leisure trips and US$1,600 for business trips.
Over the past year, air tickets (48 per cent) and hotel reservations (22 per cent) ranked as the most purchased items online for users in India. Purchases made online will continue to increase over the next 12 months with air tickets (69 per cent) and travel packages (44 per cent) the most popular followed by travel packages (44per cent) and sightseeing tours (27 per cent).
Of particular interest to travel marketers are findings on travel planning. According to the survey, leisure travellers in Asia plan their trips two months in advance, making reservations and purchases as much as five to six weeks ahead of a trip. In India, trips are planned six weeks in advance and purchases made four weeks ahead of a trip. Regionally, portals emerged as the most used online destination for travel planning (55 per cent), a figure higher than visits to websites for airlines, hotels, travel guides, and search engines.
A Highly Desirable Audience of Travellers
As media consumption patterns continue to change in India, the importance of the Internet as a channel to reach travellers will continue to grow. According to the survey, eight out of every ten users in Asia is considering taking a holiday in the next 12 months and a notable 91 per cent of the survey respondents in India classify themselves as the decision makers on holiday travel for the family, making MSN and Windows Live users prime targets for advertisers.
MSN and Windows Live users in India are very well travelled having taken an average of between 84per cent air trips over the last 12 months. A majority of users, 86 per cent have stayed at a hotel over the same period with the average stay ranging from between 4.1 and 5.7nights for leisure or business trips respectively.
“Innovative travel marketers from across the region are already tapping into the rich media opportunities available across the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions network to deliver their vision of the travel experience to consumers. By bringing the sights and sounds of the travel experience directly onto the desktop, advertisers can make that all important emotional connection,” commented Rajnish, Head of Digital Marketing Revenue and Strategic Business, Windows Live & MSN India. “With Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, advertisers can not only access a highly desirable market of well-travelled users but they can also do so in an environment that is highly trusted by users.”
Of all survey respondents who plan their travels online, 73per cent in India do so from home at a time during when they are also checking email on Windows Live Hotmail, chatting with friends on Windows Live Messenger, and sharing photos with on Windows Live Spaces, all key points through which advertisers can reach a target audience. The survey found that users in India enjoy sharing their travel experience online through photo albums, e-mail, instant messaging, and blogs. Two-fifts plan their trips from work demonstrating the importance of reaching out to consumers during the workday.
The Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions Online Travel Survey was conducted online on the MSN/ninemsn/Windows Live platform across ten markets in Asia including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, S. Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. 6,736 people took part in the survey, which took place between 20 November 2006 and 9 April 2007 (exact dates varied by market). The study was conducted by Synovate on behalf of Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions.
Tags: MSN, Nine Network, Windows Live, Internet usage, survey
Popularity: 49% [?]