Tech-savvy business travellers in India are increasingly demanding, as well as using, advanced digital solutions that can enhance their travel experience, according to an independent study commissioned by Travelport, a travel commerce platform.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Martin Herbert, regional managing director for India and Sri Lanka, Travelport, said, “The results clearly show that business travellers in India now fully expect airlines, hotels, travel agents, and other companies in the travel ecosystem, to deliver effective and easily accessible support via digital channels throughout their journeys. The immediate areas digital solutions can support are those that are straight-forward or easily automated but companies also need to consider technologies like artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, which can execute more advanced tasks and lead to even greater increases in sales and reductions in operating costs.”
Sandeep Dwivedi, chief operating officer, InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ), Travelport’s operator in six countries across the Asia Pacific region, including India, added, “Digital solutions offer travel agents and travel providers a way to really elevate the customer experience and, in doing so, set themselves apart from their peers. For digital solutions to be successful, they need to compliment physical channels at every stage. This requires careful planning and proven technology but, when executed well, the impact digital solutions can make can be game-changing.”
The research was carried out by Toluna Research and is based on responses from 8,100 regular business travellers across 25 countries. According to the study, titled the Digital Business Traveller Research 2019, in the planning and booking phase, nearly three quarters (72%) of business travellers in India have now used voice search, at some point, to investigate items like flight times, hotel options and the weather at their destinations. Two-thirds (66%) have also researched and booked a business trip entirely on their smartphone.
In addition, three quarters of business travellers in India now feel a good digital experience is ‘very important’ when choosing a hotel (75%) and airline (79%). In fact, 72 per cent actively avoid hotels that still charge for WIFI.