With 2021 coming closer, Indian travellers are set to change the way they travel and evolve.
COVID-19 has transformed how Indians will decide their travel plans, be it domestic or international. While Indian travellers are keen to adapt to the ‘new normal’, the parameters for decision making on the different aspects related to travel and accommodation is set to undergo unprecedented transformation.
In its latest research survey on the same, Booking.com has shared that about 70 per cent Indian travellers indicate they will be price-conscious when planning a trip. Also, 64 percent of travellers are keen to look out for savings and promotions. A whopping 74 per cent expect travel companies would take the cue and support their future travel plans with discounts and promotions.
COVID-19 impact: Travellers expect better choice, deeper value
According to Ritu Mehrotra, Booking.com’s Country Manager-India, Maldives and Srilanka, “With the financial strain of the pandemic felt by many, the travel industry will need to offer better choice, deeper value and increased flexibility. Maximising travel for less will mark the new normal.”
With Airbnb’s travel predictions for 2021 indicating an increased search for rental housing in the US for the purpose of remote working and Cleartrip indicating that Indian travellers are keen to pay a premium for safety, it seems to be an evolving landscape for India’s travel and hospitality segments.
Lakshmi Sharath, popular travel blogger and writer, told The Financial Express Online,”Both will be popular depending on the audience that are travelling. Most independent travellers will opt for rental housing for remote working, the corporates and the luxury travellers will look for premium hotel properties.”
Deals with Destinations preferred
With saving and keeping finances on a secure footing, Indian travellers are more likely to opt for destinations that come with ‘deals’ and ‘discounts’ instead of pursuing their dream destinations or bucket list destinations, Booking.com has found in its research.
Speaking to The Financial Express Online, travel blogger Shrinidhi Hande shared, “There would be increased demand for smaller home stays. Travellers would prefer smaller home stays that cater to only one group or family at a time, instead of large hotels or resorts, where hundreds of guests are present. This will keep guests more comfortable as they aren’t exposed to a large number of strangers.”
Clearly, rather than shelling out a lot of money for a dream destination, Indian travellers are likely to turn cautious and opt for discounted destinations and affordable deals.
Another notable trend in the Booking.com research findings is that about 62 per cent Indian travellers prefer a trip in the short term instead of saving up for a dream trip in the coming years.
Around 77 per cent of Indian travellers expect travel platforms to increase their transparency when it comes to aspects related to travel costs including cancellation, refund and trip insurance.
For 38 per cent travellers, flexibility in the context of refundable accommodation is a top priority. About 36 per cent travellers also expect flexibility to change their check-in dates without being charged for it.
With 2021 coming closer, Indian travellers are set to change the way they travel and evolve. Clearly, one striking factor is set to stay: flexibility and value will remain top priority for travellers and show the way forward in the coming year.