As the world gears up to welcome the New Year with new hope, optimism and renewed vigour, one in every three Indian is planning to travel and take a holiday during the upcoming Christmas and New Year season.
A recent survey conducted by goibibo’s Consumer Insights team further indicates that 60% of the 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 the surveyed, more than 70% 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 travelling with friends and long-not-met colleagues.
While travellers are equally split between beaches and mountains as the holiday destination 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% respondents want to spend time outdoors, soaking in the sights or doing adventure activities like rafting, hiking, water sport or just sightseeing; only 20% respondents are looking to wrap the year at bars or parties.
As safety remains paramount, survey responders gave the highest preference to sanitization, hygiene and safety certification in their order of priority while choosing their stay option.
Commenting on the travel trends, 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 fulfill their travel aspirations and are confidently stepping forward when assured of safe travel choices. 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.”
The survey conducted among 2000+ respondents between 15 November 2020 and 5 December 2020 further indicates that the winter holiday season will witness nearly 60% leisure travellers booking a trip for two or more days.
Long-distance leisure travel makes a strong comeback while drive-through holidays continue to remain a preferred option amongst Indian travellers.
50% 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 to air travel can also be attributed to the mini-road trips undertaken by people since Unlock was announced in July.
Travellers are looking forward to relaxing and unwind at a hotel, resort or villa that offers plentiful on-premise engagement activities.
More than 80% of respondents are looking for on-premise engagement activities. Findings reveal that almost 50% 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% are looking for in-house dining options that serve a variety of local delicacies allowing travellers to indulge in local delicacies of the destination.
Travellers are willing to spend more on safety, hygiene and premium sanitization facilities at the hotel; and for flexible and easy refundable booking options.
Findings reveal that about 90% of the respondents are willing to spend more on safety, hygiene and sanitization facilities during their stay. Some of the parameters that travellers are actively considering while booking a hotel include the availability of sanitized and trained staff with protective gears (46%), regular deep cleaning and sanitization of rooms (46%) and COVID free certified hotels (41%) 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% opting for fully refundable air tickets and hotel vouchers for their next travel booking.