Nearly 90 per cent Indians are planning a summer vacation this year opposed to 83 per cent in 2016, indicating that the demonetisation move has not had a major impact on travel decisions, according to the annual summer survey by Yatra.com. Another key finding from the survey established that there has been more than 100 per cent increase in Indians looking to travel to USA since last year and 208 per cent increase in Indians travelling to Europe post Brexit.
As an alternate solution to minimise the impact of demonetisation on vacations, over 80 per cent Indians are opting to reduce the number of days to travel and compromise on accommodation. However, luxury travel has witnessed a rise with 48 per cent Indians willing to spend more than Rs 50,000 per person on travel this summer versus 18 per cent last year. While nearly 80 per cent Indians are looking to stay in hotels this summer, only four per cent prefer staying with friends and relatives. The trend of homestays has seen an increase in preference by over 100 per cent this summer.
While desktops and laptops continued to be the preferred medium of booking, a significant 40 per cent prefer booking via mobile, indicating the increased smartphone and internet penetration across the country. Also, nearly 80 per cent Indians prefer to book their travel through an online travel portal. The survey showed that more than 50 per cent Indian travellers read online reviews before planning their vacation, followed by 30 per cent seeking recommendation from friends. On the back of continued low airfares, more than 80 per cent travellers 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 per cent of travellers believe that relaxation during holidays is the key reason to travel, 72 per cent of the respondents said that they do not switch off from work even during vacation. Nearly 40 per cent Indian travellers use their laptops while travelling by air.
Commenting on the findings, 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. 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.”
Another finding revealed that discounts on airfares made 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 per cent of the respondents said that they are planning to travel for three-four days, while 58 per cent said that they will travel for more than a week.