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Travel Trendz Report 2023 unveils shifts in India’s tourism preferences

Hansa Research

The 2023 report reveals 71% of Indians prefer independent holiday planning, leaning heavily on domestic travel, thereby influencing multiple sectors including hospitality and transportation.

INDIA – Over the years, tourism has emerged as a formidable contributor, generating substantial revenue and employment opportunities, bolstering various sectors including hospitality, transportation, and local businesses, creating a ripple effect that benefits the entire economy. The Travel Trendz Report 2023 reveals fascinating insights into the travel preferences and habits of Indians, uncovering the motivating factors that drive their wanderlust. The survey was conducted on the online panel Hansa Cheetah.

As per the survey conducted, it was found that a majority of Indians, 71% prefer planning their holiday trips independently. This suggests that Indians are increasingly becoming well-informed and self-reliant travellers, armed with the tools and knowledge to curate their own dream vacations. 44% choose Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as MakeMyTrip (MMT) for bookings while 20% opt for the expertise of travel agents to plan their holidays.

When it comes to the timing of their getaways, India’s holiday calendar displays distinct patterns. The winter months of December to February are most preferred, with a substantial 55% of travellers choosing this period to embark on their journeys. Spring or early summer from March to May attract 34% of travellers, followed by the autumn charm of September to November, drawing in 28%. Interestingly, 20% of travellers chose the monsoon season from June to August to satiate their wanderlust. Diverse preferences extend to the duration of holiday trips as well. 39% of Indian travellers opt for short getaways lasting 3 to 5 days, while 31% indulge in week-long vacations. 21% prefer weekend trips, while 9% embark on vacations spanning 2 to 3 weeks, allowing for a deeper immersion into their chosen destinations.

When it comes to choosing holiday destination topography, the allure of picturesque hill stations and majestic peaks captivates the hearts of 40% of the respondents. 27% yearn for a beachside retreat, 22% prefer cityscapes and the serenity of the countryside appeals to 12% of respondents.

The primary driving force behind taking a holiday for Indians is the desire to spend quality time with loved ones with 63% of respondents cited this as their primary reason for taking holidays. The opportunity to break free from the demands of work is also a compelling factor, as 57% seek respite from their professional commitments through travel.

The survey also revealed India’s overwhelming preference for domestic travel. A remarkable 81% of travellers opt to explore their own country’s diverse landscapes and culture over international destinations. This inclination towards domestic travel can be attributed to two key factors – economical (63%) and convenience (49%). Traveling within India often proves to be a cost-effective option for families and solo travellers alike. Additionally, the convenience of shorter flight durations, zero visa hassles, and a familiarity with the culture and language makes domestic travel an attractive proposition. Among the places in India, Kerala, Kashmir, Goa, Shimla and Manali are the most favoured destinations to visit.

When Indians choose international travel, they prefer traveling to attractive destinations (66%) and many cater to their family preferences (56%). Among the favoured international regions, Europe (50%) stands out as the top choice for Indian travellers, while Asia (23%), with its rich tapestry of cultures and landscapes is the second choice. Among international destinations, the USA, France, Australia, Switzerland, and Italy are the most desired destinations to travel.

The impact of these travel preferences on India’s economy is undeniable. Globally, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 7.6% to global GDP in 2022, while in India, it accounts for 5% of the country’s GDP and expected to grow at an average of 7.8% annually. India’s travel preferences reflect a nation eager to explore its own backyard while venturing out to explore the world’s wonders. With a pandemic behind us and a booming tourism industry, it is clear that travel is not just a passion for Indians but also a vital economic driver. Nurturing and supporting this love for travel will undoubtedly lead to a brighter future for India’s economy and its people.