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A research conducted by ComScore, Inc. a leader in measuring the digital world, released a report on 2nd June on the top Travel sites in India. The report found that traffic to the Travel category grew to more than 14 million visitors in April, an augment of 50 percent from the last year, as a growing number of Indians turned to the expediency of the Web in search of travel deals and accommodations.

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Quick report: Increase in Travel Portal Usage

1. Around 14 million people age 15 and older visited Travel sites in India in April, representing 37 percent of the total online population and an increase of 50% from the previous year.

2. As railways is most preferred travel choice by average Indian population people spend more time on railways ticket booking site (IRCTC) or information site (IndiaRailInfo) with 7.7 million visitors in April 2010, up 46 percent versus year ago.

3. Travel (hotel / flight) booking has been the popular most reason of engagement with followed by (major travel portal rivals in online world).

4. Many sites such as Travelocity, IndiaRailinfo etc showed triple growth than last year.

5. Railways also rocked the show with the increase in amount of time spent on the railways portals ex: Indian Railways (average: 33 minutes, consumed 50 pages and visited nearly 4 times), (34 minutes, 66 pages, 2 visits) and (28 minutes, 38 pages and nearly 4 visits).

6. India is ranked second among all countries, behind only the United Kingdom, in terms of the average time spent per visitor in the category.

Reasons why travel related activities are on rise or the most popular in India:

1. Explore: More consumers are turning to the Web to fulfill their travel planning and booking needs. In fact, rural India to some extent now understands the value of online booking. Thanks to the online booking service started by Indian Railways.

2. Comparison: In the current economic climate, consumers are being more cost-conscious when making travel arrangements. With half of all visitors to the category frequenting two or more travel sites during the month, it’s clear that consumers are taking the time to diligently compare prices prior to completing their transaction.

3. Perception: General perception of people regards to the high charges levied by agents, make them move to the travel portals to confirm the present costs.

4. Information: Not all book tickets online, many prefer online travel portals as source of information related to flight / train / hotels details. Thus saving the phone call costs or avoiding the hassles of long queue on phone and exhaustive poor answers from the customer service executives.

5. Curiosity: Surfing the travel deals or the misleading banner advertisements by travel portals such as: “Flight Ticket at Rs. 1” lets curious individuals surf these travel sites more to hit the 1 Rs deal though they might know 1 Rs deal is not possible.

6. Necessity: Booking a railway ticket online is an easy option especially when it comes to ‘Tatkal’ booking. Tatkal booking is made easy via online ticketing as standing in the queue early in the morning before 8 AM is trouble for many.

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