Q&A with : Nikhil Ganju, Country manager of TripAdvisor India
Updated on: 27 Jun 2016
Consumer behaviour shows that even as consumers are using mobile to conduct their research for booking they are still going back to larger form factors, Nikhil Ganju tells Sangeeta Tanwar
How and in what ways has the online travel business changed since the launch of TripAdvisor India in 2008?
At the time we entered the market, OTAs (online travel agencies) were still not focussed on online accommodation as they were mostly selling flight tickets. This has changed over the years with OTAs growing focus on listing hotel inventory and providing content on accommodation. Back then lack of information on accommodation was an issue. However, OTAs have since stepped in and got on board a large number of unlisted and unbranded independent hotels which are not affiliated to a particular big hotel chain. And lastly, mobile has added a significant impact and it will continue to have a significant impact on the online travel business. Today, more and more hotel and travel shoppers are attracted to research online. For the vast majority of travel shoppers the research starts online. Whether you are buying a travel package, booking a hotel or air ticket, it is safe to assume that a majority of the search starts online. Mobile impacts traveller behaviour in certain ways. For example, it changes the pre-trip behaviour. You can continue your research in a disjointed manner. Also, the social media scenario has undergone a sea change with people freely sharing reviews and photos.
Even as the industry continues to see an uptick and engagement on mobile devices, what's the biggest opportunity and challenge this trend poses to players?