Dubai, UK and Singapore have emerged as the top most preferred vegetarian-friendly destinations for Indian vegetarian travellers, according to a Cox & Kings survey, ‘Top Vegetarian-Friendly Destinations and Preferences of Indian Vegetarian Outbound Travellers’. Other destinations preferred include USA, Switzerland, Malaysia, Israel, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. An increase in the number of vegetarian and Indian Restaurants and growing Indian population are said to be the driving factors behind these destinations becoming the top choices for Indian vegetarian travellers.
The survey also revealed that cuisine is the most important factor while finalising a holiday. A whopping 70 per cent of the vegetarian travellers choose their destination based on accessibility to vegetarian food. Whereas, 30 per cent of the travellers would scout for a vegetarian restaurant after they have chosen a destination.
Assurance of a vegetarian meal drives type of tour and accommodation to be chosen; 71 per cent of the vegetarian travellers chose vegetarian tours over cosmopolitan tours, the reason being the availability of vegetarian meals. Hotels with vegetarian restaurants are preferred by 53 per cent of the vegetarian travellers, whereas only 20 per cent will be fine with a multi cuisine restaurant.
The survey also revealed that 85 per cent of the younger generation between the age group of 20-45 are open to cosmopolitan tours where they are served veg food, whereas majority of the travellers from the age group of 46-65 years would necessarily opt for a group tour that assures vegetarian food. The survey was conducted from January to March 2017 with a sample size of 5,000 respondents with age groups ranging from 20- 65 years.
Karan Anand, head – relationships, Cox & Kings, said, “The demand for vegetarian outbound tours is mainly coming from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Major share of demand for Cox & Kings’ vegetarian tours comes from these states.”
Another finding shows how the length of a vacation is influenced by the type of cuisine available and the destination itself. On a shorter trip (lesser than five days), 77 per cent of the vegetarian travellers would carry ready-to-eat pre-packaged food like noodles, Upma etc. However, they would necessarily select a vegetarian-friendly destination if they have decided to go on a longer vacation (more than five days).
The most preferred restaurant remains one with a separate dining/kitchen area for vegetarian food. The survey also points out that 76 per cent of the vegetarian travellers from the age group of 46-65 years insist demarcation be done within the restaurants. However, 68 per cent of the younger travellers are fine with a multi-cuisine restaurant with no separate dining area. Travel agent’s advice emerged as the most reliable one with 57 per cent of the respondents saying they will check with their agent while deciding on a vegetarian restaurant/destination.