Travellers in emerging markets want more online travel services

Amadeus study shows tourists from emerging markets want better online services

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Travellers in emerging markets want more online travel services Online travel services are evolving in the region, says Medawar, but providers need to make sure they add value for customers.
By  Mark Sutton Published  March 12, 2012

Travellers and tourists from emerging markets are under-served in terms of online travel commerce solutions, according to a new survey by Amadeus.

The travel and tourism software solutions provider commissioned a study of 4,638 trend-setting consumers across developed and emerging markets, to study online habits in planning trips abroad.

The study, 'Empowering inspiration: the future of travel search' found that travellers across all markets found looking for travel information online was frustrating, but that in emerging markets, the levels of frustration were almost double that of developed markets. 47% of US travellers reported experiencing frustration online, compared to over 78% of Russian travellers. Frustration was caused by information overload and the lack of confidence that consumers were getting a good deal.

The study, which looked at the behaviour and motivations of trend-setting consumers when shopping for travel online, particularly with reference to destination selection, shopping and booking processes. The study looked at sophisticated early adopters, to give insight into likely future trends. The study surveyed consumers in the US, UK, Germany, India, Russia and Brazil.

The study also showed that travellers in emerging markets were less likely to have a destination in mind when shopping online, with only a third having a specific destination in mind, compared to a half in developed markets.

Forty percent of travellers are also flexible about travel dates, meaning providers should give more data and options to plan travel by price, to gain wider appeal.

Amadeus suggested that this means travel providers need to consider more options for online booking outside of simple city/date options, to attract the maximum custom.

Another finding of the survey was that emerging market consumers are more than twice as interested in using mobile devices for travel planning than those in developed markets.

Greater intelligence about consumers gained from more sophisticated booking solutions will also allow providers to offer micro-targeted promotions to specific consumers, and micro-segmentation will help companies analyse behaviour and deliver increasingly intelligent results, particularly through means such as virtual private assistants.

Antoine Medawar, vice president, Middle East and North of Africa, Amadeus: said: "The Amadeus commissioned study aptly brings to light global trends, the significance of which can be seamlessly translated to this region. Increased internet penetration in the Middle East and across the globe has resulted in a significant evolution of online and e-commerce business models.

"In today's competitive market, online travel providers must adopt technologies that provide an added value to consumers. Technology has and will continue to impact the way agents do business, the effects of which will invariably trickle down to impact consumer buying habits," he added.

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