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Online hotel booking in India to hit $1.8B by 2016: Google

Consumer confidence to do online hotel bookings is on the rise in India, it says.

Online hotel bookings in the country will touch USD 1.8 billion by 2016, as more and more Indians turn to the Internet for finalising travel plans, according to Google. 

"Consumer confidence to do online hotel bookings is on the rise in India, with an estimated 8.4 million Indians likely to book hotels online by 2016... The online hotel booking Industry will be worth USD 1.8 billion from the current USD 0.8 billion," a report by Google India stated. 

One of the biggest factors for this sizzling growth is the convenience the Internet offers while carrying out the transaction. 

"People are able to compare. Online helps you get more information to make better decisions and do better planning for vacations," Google India Industry Director Vikas Agnihotri told PTI. 

Explaining the modus operandi, he said: "It will help occupancy in hotels grow, with more consumers coming in. For, a lot of hotels in budget and economy segments can be discovered online and bookings accordingly done online." 

According to the report, there is significant headroom for growth in the sector as the ease of access to information and details available online are propelling consumer confidence to book hotels electronically. 

What is fuelling the trend is growing usage of mobile phones as the preferred choice to access the Internet. 

On Google search, hotel enquiries from mobiles clocked 30 times growth from 2011 to 2014, the report said. 

"In terms of demographics, users in the age group of 35-44 are the most tech-savvy when it comes to booking hotels online," it added. 

Short duration trips are on the rise in India, as leisure travellers prefer more than two or more trips in a year, with 64 per cent respondents preferring short breaks of less than 5 days, the report added. 

There are some 'ifs' though. The report said: "Safety and trust were the top deterrents. Respondents cited low trust in online portal offerings." 

Complicated terms and conditions, concerns about online cancellation policies, better rates and discounts available offline and personalised service were cited as the other reasons for users to book hotels offline, it added. 

The report compiled by Google India was based on face-to-face research conducted by TNS interviewing travellers who had booked a hotel in the last one year and are active Internet users across India. The sample size was 3,716 in the age group of 18-54 years from metros, tier I and tier II cities.

Google Inc. operates as an online search engine. It is engaged in development of technology and software. The company also provides access to online information and serves as a platform for social networking, video engagement, mailing and blogging. It offers adwords, an auction-based advertising program, adsense program, which enables Web sites that are part of the google network to deliver advertisements from its adwords advertisers, google display, a display advertising network that comprises videos, text, images, and other interactive advertisements, doubleclick ad exchange, a real-time auction marketplace for the trading of display ad space and youtube that provides video, interactive, and other ad formats for advertisers. The company also provides google mobile that optimizes google’s applications for mobile devices in browser and downloadable form, as well as enables advertisers to run search ad campaigns on mobile devices and google Local that provides local information on the web. The firm also offers android, an open source mobile software platform, google chrome operating system, an open source operating system, google chrome, a web browser, google+ to share different things online with different people, google tv, a platform for the consumers to use the television and internet on a single screen and google books platform to discover, search, and consume content from printed books online. Further, the company provides google applications, a cloud computing suite of message and collaboration tools, which primarily includes gmail, google docs, google calendar, google translate, and google sites, search appliance, a search technology for use within enterprises, google site search, a custom search engine, google commerce search for online retail enterprises, google maps application programming interface for businesses and google earth enterprise, a firewall software solution for imagery and data visualization. Google Inc. was founded in 1998 and is based in California, United States of America.

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