Digital Payments company VISA said that outbound travel, especially for affluent Indians, is geared towards luxury hotel and private stays, experiencing different cuisines, nightlife and beaches. “Popular searches include luxury hotels (74 per cent) and resorts & villas (12 per cent),” Ramakrishnan Gopalan, Vice President, Head of Products and Solutions, for India and South Asia, Visa said. The company’s ‘Asia Pacific Destination Forecasts 2022-2024: India report’ also says that inbound tourists are motivated by community-based tourism and native life experiences, “This includes living in homestays or farm stays and indulging in cooking, crafting and village tours., so as to experience authentic local culture and local rituals,” Gopalan said.
He said that there’s a growth in local cultural experiences, escape and relaxation, and night life experience. According to the report, Indians were rediscovering their historical landmarks when covid cases hit an all new low in December. It said that there was a significant uptick in self-discovery (38 per cent approx.), nightlife (18 per cent approx.), local cultural experiences (9 per cent approx.) while outdoor adventure, leisure pursuits and escape and relaxation saw a downfall at 2-3 per cent each.
Gopalan added that after two years of stagnation, pent-up demand has caused an uptick in travel, giving rise to ‘revenge travel’. “Under a ‘mild scenario’ of the pandemic, India is forecasted to receive more than 13M visitors by 2024, That’s 22 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels (2019). Domestic-focused travel with weekend trips and staycations are taking the lead. Travel is making a comeback and presents great opportunities for digital payments to make customer experience convenient,” he said.
Digital is going to be a big growth driver going forward. “The report highlights that 51 per cent of travel payment searches are made on credit cards. As India welcomes more travelers, superior travel experiences must be supported by convenient and safe digital payments. Increased digital payments and international payment acceptance across small businesses and across towns and cities is essential to ensure a great traveler experience,” he said.
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