Online travel research common in Russia
Tourism is on the rise in Russia, as a growing economy, rising income and declining unemployment buck trends in more developed countries. As leisure travel overall picks up, and infrastructure in the region develops, online travel sales will also see steady increases.
eMarketer estimates online travel in Russia is going through a period of robust growth, having expanded at a rate of 43% in 2011 and projected to grow another 21.5% in 2012, to over $2.5 billion. By 2014, that growth will drop down to single digits.
As the expanding economy drives growth in Russia’s broader ecommerce marketplace, online travel will contribute a relatively steady share to the B2C ecommerce pie—dropping from approximately 17% in 2011 to roughly 15% in 2016, according to eMarketer. But in terms of the total travel market, a July report from PhoCusWright projected online travel would grow its share from 10% in 2011 to 18% by 2013.
Researching travel on the web—not just booking—is already common among travelers in Russia compared to many other countries. PhoCusWright found in April 2011 that leisure travelers of all varieties in Russia were more influenced by online sources (65%) when choosing their destination than travelers in any other country surveyed. The mobile internet had a comparatively weak effect on travelers’ decision-making.
Of the online sources these travel researchers used, search engines were the most popular by a wide margin, at 77%.
With the overall travel market in Russia going strong, and ecommerce sales immature and growing fast, finding travelers on the web, and via search especially, is a good bet.
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