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‘92% of travellers use online resources to plan trips’

Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India, talks about the Indian online market and the performance and growth of TripAdvisor in India


What sort of growth has TripAdvisor enjoyed since its inception?

Since its launch in 2008, TripAdvisor India has shown tremendous growth, and has gone on to become the second largest travel website in the country, according to April ComScore. Growth has been significant, not only in terms of traffic but also in terms of user contribution. We have seen Indians increasingly contribute content making the site rich and valuable for Indian travellers.


What new products have you brought to India? Are more in the pipeline?

We recently launched our Hotel price comparison search which enables users to experience an unified price comparison in an easy-to-read layout of pricing and availability from multiple booking partners in one view in place of a number of annoying pop-ups which didn’t make for the best user experience.


How do you authenticate the user generated content for your site?

The authenticity of our content is most important to us and we have a zero tolerance approach to fraud. We have three primary methods to manage the legitimacy of reviews:

(a) Systems: Reviews are systematically screened by our proprietary site tools that are frequently upgraded

(b) Community: Our large and passionate community of more than 50 million monthly visitors help report suspicious content

(c) Quality Assurance Teams: An international team of quality assurance specialists investigate suspicious reviews that are flagged by our proprietary tools or community.

The integrity of the content on TripAdvisor is fundamental to our success.


What are your marketing plans for TripAdvisor India?

Online search marketing is core to our marketing efforts as we believe in presenting ourselves in a contextual fashion when users make travel related queries. Another area of focus for us is building partnerships with an increasing number of travel sites so our content is ubiquitous across relevant platforms to large travel audiences. We also use CRM effectively though our sophisticated and personalised social mailers.


How do you see the online travel planning market evolving?

The online travel planning markets is one of the fastest growing segments in the overall internet landscape. TripAdvisor’s robust expansion in India in the last five years substantiates this trend. Our recently conducted study on travel and hospitality trends called TripBarometer showed that even in India ‘Travel Review Sites’ featured as the top source of information for travellers when planning their last trip and that 92 per cent of travellers used online resources to plan their travel.


What, according to you, will be the next great innovation in travel?

We are witnessing strong innovations in mobile in the online travel space recently and we believe that it is going to be driving force for innovation in the near future. In fact TripAdvisor has also recently acquired Tinypost, the highly acclaimed app that lets you write over photos and turn them into stories and more recently Gateguru, a mobile app for flight and airport information.

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