India trend 2014: Social shake up

Euromonitor International released its annual Global Trends Report on Monday in conjunction with the opening of the World Travel Market trade show in London. In it, researchers highlighted seven regional trends and two global ones that track emerging behavior patterns, new travel habits and business initiatives across the globe. Here is what it expects for India.

Social Shake Up: India to have 300 million plus Internet users by 2017.

Surprise! India’s online travel agencies are now prioritizing social media to woo the young urban consumer. While this may sound like old news to many, just 12 percent of the Indian population is online (though Facebook boasts 82 million Indian users, making it the website’s third-largest market).

“Leads through social media have risen from nil about two years ago to about 20 percent now,” Arjun Sharma, managing director of TUI India, commented in the report. Researchers found that some 70 percent of all four- and five-star hotels in India’s main cities had a social media presence by summer 2013, while the Indian Ministry of Tourism recently began using social media to promote tourism sites throughout the country.

“India is predicted to have more than 300 million Internet users by 2017, with 75 percent of them active on social media, so the potential is staggering,” Press, of Reed Travel Exhibitions, added. “Figures also show that online travel retail sales in India are forecast to reach $14.7 billion in 2017, following a 19 percent CAGR [compound annual growth rate] from 2012, so travel firms need to act now.”

Read the full report here,  International Business Times


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