As the world gears up to welcome the New Year with an optimistic outlook, one in every three Indians is planning to travel and vacation during the upcoming Christmas and New Year season, shows a new survey.
A recent survey by travel booking platform goibibo suggests that 60 per cent respondents who are willing to travel during the winter holiday season are planning to spend the year end vacationing in the hills or by the beach. Amongst those surveyed, more than 70 per cent are hoping to relax and celebrate this winter holiday season with their family, spouse or partner while the rest are looking to end the year traveling with friends and long-not-met colleagues.
According to Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip Limited that includes MakeMyTrip, goibibo and redBus shared "Pent-up wanderlust is real and these survey findings reflect that Indians are finding new ways to fulfil their travel aspirations and are confidently stepping forward when assured of safe travel choices. Over the past few months, we have worked closely and creatively with the entire travel and hospitality value chain to raise safety standards and help customers make the journey from being homebound to being travellers again. Bookings for the winter festive holiday season on goibibo indicate an increase in travel to domestic leisure destinations including Goa, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Pondicherry, Coorg, Shimla, Manali and Darjeeling. As we step into 2021, we are confident of a continued upward travel trend that will find more force as the mass vaccine rollout plan materializes."
The survey was conducted among 2000+ respondents between November 15-December 5. It indicates that the winter holiday season will witness nearly 60 per cent leisure travellers booking a trip for two or more days.
While travellers are equally split between beaches and mountains as holiday destinations of choice in India, they concur the destination has to bring them closer to nature and be scenic more than anything else. While nearly 70 per cent respondents want to spend time outdoors, soaking in the sights or doing adventure activities like rafting, hiking, water sport or just sightseeing; only 20 per cent respondents are looking to wrap the year at bars or parties. As safety remains paramount, survey respondents gave highest preference to sanitization, hygiene and safety certification in their order of priority while choosing their stay option.
Long distance leisure travel comes back, drive-through holidays remain a top choice
50 per cent travellers across all demographics and cohorts are willing to opt for air travel for the upcoming winter holiday season signalling a strong boost in passenger confidence and trust in hopping on to a flight for a holiday post pandemic. With flight holidays in equal consideration as drive-through holidays, the preference for air travel can also be attributed to the mini-road trips undertaken by people since Unlock was announced in July.
Travellers are looking to unwind and engage
More than 80 per cent respondents are looking for on-premise engagement activities. Findings reveal that almost 50 per cent of the surveyed are keen on opting for properties that offer bonfire, barbeque options and a private party place options on Christmas and New Year's Eve; and 37 per cent are looking for in-house dining options that serve a variety of local delicacies allowing travellers to indulge in local delicacies of the destination.
Safety, hygiene and flexible and easy refundable booking options are top spends
Findings reveal that about 90 per cent of the respondents are willing to spend more on safety, hygiene and sanitisation facilities during their stay. Some of the parameters that travellers are actively considering while booking a hotel include availability of sanitized and trained staff with protective gears (46 per cent), regular deep cleaning and sanitization of rooms (46 per cent) and COVID free certified hotels (41 per cent) among others. Additionally, as people now spend more time weighing various travel parameters before firming up their travel plans, they are looking for easy and flexible booking options with 86 per cent opting for fully refundable air tickets and hotel vouchers for their next travel booking.