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Indian consumers prefer holiday abroad this festive season

Social Sentiment Index analyzes over 250,000 conversations, offers travel industry new insights into where customers want to travel

Bangalore - 19 Dec 2013: A new IBM Social Sentiment analysis of 250,000 online conversations reveals the travel preferences of Indian consumers – which point to consumer interest and enthusiasm for spending holidays abroad. The preferred international holiday destination for 2013 is London and preferred domestic holiday destination is Goa.

According to the latest IBM Social Sentiment analysis, travel and hospitality was trending as high as 33 percent of all social conversation tracked, indicating a particularly high volume of discussions about flying, driving and vacation with family and friends, among others.  The IBM "Desire Ratio" - the proportion of positive versus negative comments – indicates that 59 percent of people are "looking forward" to taking vacation this December.

Diving deeper into the social dialogue, ‘destinations’ emerged as the dominant theme being discussed. Positive sentiment associated with ‘luxury destinations’ also showed a huge surge. People’s choices for travel and vacation destinations primarily revolved around service and experience, while price was a key driver when it comes to hospitality and travel agents.

In the era of Big Data, amidst the explosion of social media, measuring public sentiment through social listening can help travel industry chief marketing officers tap real time trends and customize incentives and services to be more in tune with what customers are asking for, using data to tailor their offerings to address fast-moving trends and real time customer needs.

“Measuring social sentiment has the potential to enable the travel industry to design travel offers and services tailored to what travelers are telling us," said Dr Lata Iyer, Partner, Global Business Services, IBM India & South Asia. "Big data has the power to offer new insights to the travel industry including airlines, hotels and other travel providers that can translate customer desires into irresistible offers that they will welcome."

The IBM Social Sentiment Index combines sophisticated analytics and natural language processing technologies to gauge consumer public opinions from Twitter, blogs, message boards and other social media. In this instance, the Index was used to measure and understand consumer views around the holiday travel season in the India from the period of September 1 – December 12 in 2013.

Additional insights from the IBM Social Sentiment Index for holiday travel include:

The wealth of online content around travel from public conversations on social media has become very influential in how people determine their travel plans. Understanding the positive, neutral and negative nuances of their conversations and who is influential can help airlines, hoteliers and other travel service providers market better products and services to their customers.

About the IBM Social Sentiment Index

The IBM Social Sentiment Index uses advanced analytics and natural language processing technologies to analyze large volumes of social media data in order to assess public opinions. The Index can identify and measure positive, negative and neutral sentiments shared in public forums such as Twitter, blogs, message boards and other social media, and provide quick insights into consumer conversations about issues, products and services. Representing a new form of market research, social sentiment analyses offer organizations new insights into Big Data that can help them better understand and respond to consumer trends.  For more information about IBM please visit: www.ibm.com/social-sentiment and follow the conversation at #IBMPopData

About IBM Big Data & Analytics

Each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated by a variety of sources -- from climate information, to posts on social media sites, and from purchase transaction records to healthcare medical images. At IBM we believe that data is emerging as the world's newest resource for competitive advantage, and analytics is the key to make sense of it. IBM is helping clients harness Big Data & Analytics to provide insights needed to make better decisions, create value, and deliver that value to customers and society. IBM has the world's deepest and broadest portfolio of Big Data & Analytics technologies and solutions, spanning services, software, research and hardware. For more information about IBM Big Data & Analytics, visit http://ibm.com/bigdataanalytics.  Follow IBM Big Data & Analytics on Twitter @IBMbigdata and @IBMAnalytics.  

Contact(s) information

Kiran Yellupula
IBM External Relations
+91- 9769541122
kiran.kumar@in.ibm.com

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