After demonetisation, the travel sector witnessed a rise in the use of plastic money as over 90 percent Indians are booking their holidays via credit or debit cards, according to a survey. Yatra.com, one of India’s leading online travel portals, conducted their annual summer survey which showcases the trends of Indian travellers planning a vacation this summer.
The latest survey clearly shows that demonetisation has had no major impact on travel plans. Nearly 90 percent respondents are planning a summer vacation this year opposed to only 83 percent in 2016.
Another key finding from the survey established that there has been more than 100 percent increase in Indians looking to travel to USA since last year and 208 percent increase in Indians travelling to Europe since post Brexit.
As an alternate solution to minimise the impact of demonetisation on vacations over 80 percent Indians are opting to reduce the number of days to travel and compromise on accommodation.
Ironically, luxury travel has also witnessed a rise with 48 percent Indians willing to spend more than Rs.50000 per person on travel this summer versus 18 percent last year.
While nearly 80 percent Indians are looking to stay in hotels this summer, only 4 percent prefer staying with friends/relatives.
Homestays, a trend is rapidly gaining popularity in India and has seen an increase in preference by over 100 percent this summer. This states that new age travellers seek out unique experiences in the course of their travels and self-expenditure is a priority for the travellers while vacationing.
While desktops and laptops continue to be the preferred medium of booking, a significant 40 percent prefer booking via mobile indicating the increased smartphone and internet penetration across the country.
Also, nearly 80 percent Indians prefer to book their travel through an Online Travel portal. The survey shows that more than 50 percent Indian travellers read online reviews before planning their vacation followed by 30 percent seeking recommendation from friends. On the back of continued low airfares, more than 80 percent travelers prefer air travel to any other mode of transport.
The survey revealed that hill stations are the most popular summer holiday destination this year followed by Kerala and Goa. While 24 percent of travellers believe that relaxation during holidays is the key reason to travel, 72 percent of the respondents said that they do not switch off from work even during vacation.
Nearly 40 percent Indian travellers use their laptops while travelling by air. Commenting on the findings from the survey, Sharad Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com said, “It is very encouraging to see that the number of people taking a holiday during summer is increasing year-on-year. It is heartening to note that demonetisation did not have a major impact on the peak travel season.”
He added, “The surge in international travel highlights that things are back to normal and also underlines that millennials are relatively intrepid and unlikely to be phased by economic problems or political unrest. Helped by relatively low airfares, there has been a shift in the passengers from rail to air. This is on account of the continued low oil prices and an increase in the capacity by both new entrants and the incumbent players.”
An interesting finding reveals that discounts on airfares make travellers most happy while planning their holiday. Also, free food and drinks and extra leg space on the flight is an added advantage for the same price. Highlighting the trend of long weekend travel, nearly 30 percent of the respondents said that they are planning to travel for 3 – 4 days, while 58 percent said that they will travel for more than a week.