Indonesians Flock Online to Reserve Lebaran Holiday Travel Arrangements

2 mins read
August 1, 2013

Ramadan is coming to an end and that means holiday travels are rising thanks to the extended holiday period that will take place between 5-12 August in Indonesia surrounding Eid al Fitr, or Lebaran/Idul Fitri as it is called here. Travel search site Wego has released some numbers regarding this year’s holiday air travel plans which shows a marked increase in nearly all aspects of domestic and regional travels.

Last November e27 discussed the significant gap between the number of Asians online and those who engage in online travel reservations. In this regard, Asia is still well behind other regions and the gap is even more pronounced when taking into account the population of the region, but this means that the online travel market will only rise as more Asians understand better about the web and place greater trust in online sites.

The more seasoned travelers have taken to online sites early to place travel reservations this year and Wego is one of the beneficiaries of this trend. Bisnis.com in May noted that Wego is enjoying up to 750,000 monthly visits to its price comparison site. Overall, flight searches have risen 101% while hotel searches went up 231% for this holiday period.

Managing director of Wego Indonesia, Graham Hills remarked, “The growth reflects a growing trend of Indonesians to plan their travel online and shows increasing usage of Wego by the Indonesian market”.

According to the company, Bali and Singapore remain the top two holiday travel destinations for Lebaran travelers, notching 73% and 76% rise of flight searches respectively over last year’s Lebaran period while Jogjakarta is firming into second place for domestic travelers with hotel searches rising to 251% over last year.

Factors that impact the choices in holiday destinations according to Hills include awareness of destination, access, and affordability.

The more travelers know about a particular destinations, the more likely they are going to go there. “Wego is trying to educate Indonesian travelers about great destinations in Indonesia as well as overseas”, said Hills.

Given that many local places which may be great destinations are not “tourist friendly”, ie. lack of easy access and facilities, these became limited to the more adventurous types rather than the casual or leisure travelers.

Affordability is of course a significant factor. This is strongly affected by the frequency of flights or other transport modes heading to the destination and the time it takes to get there.

Air Travel
Air travels have grown significantly over the past decade thanks to the emergence of low cost carriers but for the most part, the country’s flagship carrier still remains the preferred airline by far.

Hills shared to DailySocial the factors that contribute to people’s preferences in choosing their airlines. The first factor is price, he said. Competitive pricing is still number one on people’s minds when they search for airlines but it certainly is not the only one.

Travelers also seek for capacity and availability. “Wego only shows airlines/online travel agencies where there is a seat available for purchase, or in the case of hotels, a room available”. People want to find out “which ones have the most number of flights to popular destinations during Lebaran period”.

Marketing is also a factor in getting people to choose their airlines. If an airline engages in more marketing efforts on Wego then it’s far more likely that travelers will choose that particular airline.

Trust is a significant factor in consumers’ decision making process. Airlines with a questionable safety record, whether perceived or otherwise, will suffer, as Lion Air has this year. The more recommendations an airline has from fellow travelers will also affect the decision.

Given the above, Garuda Indonesia maintains its top spot as the number one choice for International travel followed perhaps rather surprisingly by Malaysian Airline which has had a strong marketing push in the country. Year on year, searches for Garuda on Wego rose by 256% while Malaysia Airline rose 247%.

For the domestic market, TigerAir Mandala records the highest jump in search by 485% and Lion Air, which has had several prominent accidents on top of constant delays, saw a 59% drop in preference over last year.

In terms of the top five airlines, domestically, Garuda is followed by Air Asia, TigerAir Mandala, Lion Air, and Citilink, while Internationally, Air Asia, TigerAir Mandala, and TigerAir round up the list.

[header image from shutterstock]

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