However, the risks also come as a dampener for travel enthusiasts right ahead of the year-end holiday season. How does it disrupt plans? A survey of Indian consumers by polling firm YouGov found that Indian consumers were getting keener to travel again over the last few months, but were also careful about safety and health concerns. Here’s more:
By October, the gradual retreat of the pandemic in India had helped consumers become readier to consider travelling again, suggests the latest data from YouGov Global Travel Profiles. Around 58% of Indian consumers surveyed planned to go on a domestic trip for either business or leisure purposes, up from 55% in October 2020.
This reflects in domestic airlines data as well. India’s domestic carriers ferried 9 million passengers in October, the most since February 2020, the last full month before India announced a lockdown. However, this is set to take a beating with the Omicron variant forcing new restrictions.
Demand for international travel also saw an uptick, from 24% of consumers planning it in October 2020 to 28% in October 2021, the YouGov data shows. The increased appetite appears to have started from February and peaked in August. YouGov Global Travel Profiles tracks global consumer attitudes towards travel across 25 key markets on a daily basis.
Uniting with friends and family was the top reason why Indian travellers were willing to take holidays, the October survey found. As many as 32% survey respondents said this was the most common type of holiday they went for, a stark reminder of the sense of longing that lockdowns may have created in people.
A quarter of consumers preferred a holiday in the mountains, countryside or at beaches. One in five (19%) said they liked a holiday to explore culture and history, while a good chunk (15%) also liked to go on holidays coupled with activities such as walking, hiking and cycling.
Safety is still a big concern. One-third of the urban respondents chose stay options that are safer with basic services guaranteed, such as standard hotels. As many as 29% would also prefer staying with friends and family on their trips.
Far fewer respondents chose accommodation such as hostels, rented apartments or rented rooms, campsites or cruise ships.
If travel were to open up by plan, where would Indians be headed? Goa emerged as the top preferred destination on YouGov Destination Index, with 37% expressing their wish to visit the state for their next domestic trip. This was followed by Himachal Pradesh (33%) and Uttarakhand (29%). Smaller populations have helped each of these three tourist states fully vaccinate more than half their residents already.MINT PREMIUM See All