Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., integrated travel services company, along with its Group company SOTC Travel Ltd. surveyed over 2500 consumers across India’s metros and Tier I and II cities (including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jamnagar, Surat, Vizag, Indore, Jaipur, etc.), covering four age groups: below 30 years, 31-44 years, 45-59 years and 60 years and above; 76 per cent being in the 28-55 age segment.
The Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19 reflects key consumer behaviours and trends.
Key findings include:
Travel is set to rebound: Indians will continue to Travel: 14 per cent respondents indicated that they are likely to travel in 2020 once restrictions are lifted. While 45 per cent respondents plan to defer their holiday to 2021, 41 per cent are undecided. The festive seasons were preferred in 2020: either November (29 per cent) or December (50 per cent).
Key Travel Drivers: 72 per cent respondents preferred reputed brands across their journey - including tour operators, hotel chains, etc. Health and Safety ranks as the primary concern for 75 per cent respondents; with 35 per cent willing to increase their spends to ensure the same.
Domestic Tourism is set to take centre stage: A domestic holiday was the first choice of 64 per cent respondents. Destinations selected were Ladakh (20 per cent), Goa (17 per cent), North East (15 per cent), Kerala (11 per cent); Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir followed closely; Bhutan (17 per cent) in the Indian sub-continent. Destinations at a driveable distance were also preferred, including: Coorg, Ooty, Mussoorie, Shimla, Amritsar, Munnar, etc.
36 per cent respondents showed preference for an international holiday. Short haul destinations (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi) saw strong interest (41 per cent). Long-haul destinations that traditionally witness demand in Q4 also featured, like Australia & New Zealand (20 per cent); USA (16 per cent). What is noteworthy is the significant demand for Europe at 38 per cent; favoured destinations included Switzerland, France, Germany, UK, Czech Republic.
Size of Group: Respondents displayed a noticeable preference towards travelling in smaller groups- primarily due health/hygiene. 63 per cent respondents were inclined to travel solo, with their immediate/extended family or friends/colleagues; 25 per cent respondents preferred to travel in small groups of below 20 co-travellers and 12 per cent opted for a group size of approximately 35+.
Holiday Duration: 86 per cent respondents chose a holiday duration between 4-11 days (51 per cent preferring 4-7 days, 35 per cent preferring 8-11 days); 14 per cent opted for a holiday of over 12 days.
Shift in Holiday Spending Patterns: Value-centric/Pocket Friendly Holidays: 67 per cent of respondents stated that they would spend less than rupees one lakh per person on their next holiday, while 11 per cent said that they would spend up to rupees two lakhs per person.
Booking Channels: Consumers continued to express interest in a personal touch/reassurance to their travel booking experience- with 58 per cent opting to purchase holidays through retail outlets or home service (38 per cent retail and 20 per cent home visits). This was followed by 40 per cent opting for online channels (Website/App) and 12 per cent stating preference for video chat.
(Respondents were given a few questions with multiple options, hence percentages may not add up to 100 per cent)