Business Today

New travel trends: Shorter holidays, travel on EMIs and spiritual journeys

The travel-on-EMI segment is picking up quite well, though such travellers are still less than 5 per cent of the overall universe

twitter-logoManu Kaushik | September 27, 2019 | Updated 21:11 IST
New travel trends: Shorter holidays, travel on EMIs and spiritual journeys

The third edition of the SOTC Holiday Report is out. The report is based on an online survey of travellers across four age groups - less than 25 years, 26-35 years, 36-55 years and 56 years plus. The survey points out some interesting trends in the leisure holiday market. Business Today lists seven habits of Indian travellers:

1) People in the 36-55 years age bracket are least fond of travelling among all age groups. The report shows that just 36 per cent people in this age bracket are taking at least one international holiday in a year and 47 per cent people are taking at least one domestic holiday in a year. In comparison, people in the senior age bracket - 56 years and above - are holidaying more with 83 per cent of them taking at least one international holiday in a year, and 61 per cent taking more than two domestic holidays in a year.

2) The travel-on-EMI segment is picking up quite well, though such travellers are still less than 5 per cent of the overall universe. In the past one year, the number of people travelling on EMIs (equated monthly instalments) has gone up by 12 per cent, says Daniel D'Souza, president and country head (leisure) at SOTC Travel adding that the tour operator had introduced the travel-on-EMI product almost 16 years ago but there were no takers at that time. With the easy availability of finances, less paperwork, and cashback offers, a large number of travellers are not considering the travel finance option. Yet, the survey shows that budget remains the single-biggest concern for international holiday travellers across all age groups ahead of visa requirements.

3) This might not be a new trend but more travellers are opting for shorter holidays as compared to say, taking 15-day tours. This is reflective across all age groups except travellers in the 56 and above bracket. The travellers in the below 25-year category are increasingly opting for three-six days trips in domestic short-haul destinations such as Goa, Kerala, and Uttaranchal and international locations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sri Lanka.

4) Seniors (56 and above) are taking more international holidays than any other age groups. Although their usage of debit and credit cards to book travel is low (and generally averse to online holiday bookings), they are the highest spenders among all other types. For instance, 36 per cent survey respondents spent over Rs 2 lakh on their holidays.

5) Each region in India has its own travel preferences. For instance, people from East India prefer holidays that cater to their cultural preference. That means holidaying during Durga Puja is most preferred after summer vacations. People from West India choose customised holidays, offbeat destinations and share their experiences on social media. South Indians prefer holidays where South Indian food is available. Travellers from North India are value seekers and are keen to obtain best deals and offers available.

6) Domestic holidays have shown a marked jump. As per the survey, 92 per cent respondents are taking a domestic holiday compared to 80 per cent in 2015. Leisure combined with spiritual journeys are witnessing an interesting trend, says the survey. Destinations such as Madurai, Rameshwaram, Dwarka, Shirdi, Mathura, Ujjain and Varanasi have seen significant growth in 2019.

7) Relaxation is the topmost reason to take a holiday across age groups followed by the desire to spend time with family and friends, exploration and adventure and short breaks.

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