Travel

Families that travel together, stay together!

Thursday, 30 May, 2024
Travelers are embracing the spirit of exploration and discovery like never before. (Photo by freepik.com)

As travelers pack their bags to escape the scorching heat, there has been a 40 percent increase in summer travel this year, with family travel bookings surging like never before

From Backpackers to Bon-Vivants – and everything in between – Indian travelers are not just reshaping the realm of domestic tourism but also commanding an increasingly important role in the ambit of international travel, leaving no corner of the globe too out of reach.  

In terms of most-booked holiday packages this summer, destinations with cool mountain terrains are the top picks with Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Goa, Kerala and the North-East emerging as most sought after places, according to the industry.

Number of people taking more than 3 trips per year in India has grown by 25 percent in 2023 as compared to 2019.

Family travel bookings surged by 64 percent in 2023 as compared to 2022, followed by solo traveller booking growth at 23 percent for the same comparative period.

Tier-2 and tier-3 cities are embracing spiritual journeys, with searches for destinations with or around religious spots like Ayodhya growing 97 per cent in the last two years, according to the latest ‘India Travel Trends Report’ by hospitality major MakeMyTrip (MMT).

Searches for Ayodhya grew by 585 per cent, Ujjain by 359 per cent and Badrinath by 343 per cent in 2023 as compared to 2022.

According to Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, understanding the evolving travel behaviours of Indian travellers is essential to help shape the future of tourism, both domestically and globally. 

“As India emerges as a formidable force in the tourism sector, these insights can help bridge the demand and supply gaps in the travel and hospitality space. This means crafting policies, identifying destinations, and creating experiences that resonate with the traveller’s unique travel preferences and aspirations,” he adds. 

Weekend getaways continue to curry favor with Indian travelers. Also, 30 percent of all international travel searches from India are for Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore while London, Toronto and New York are the most searched long-haul destinations.  

Searches for emerging international destinations grew multifold last year and hot favorites include Hong Kong, Almaty, Paro, Baku, Da Nang and Tbilisi. 

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is the most preferred payment method for booking travel, making close to 40 per cent of all transaction types, followed by use of credit cards, says the MMT report.

According to an Airbnb report, trending summer destinations include beach havens like Goa and Varkala, as well as cultural hubs like Varanasi and Delhi, and scenic cities like Kochi. Internationally, Milan, Amalfi, Tokyo, Rome, and Frankfurt have emerged as the preferred destinations, driven by Bollywood films and social media influencers.

“This summer, Indian travelers are embracing the spirit of exploration and discovery like never before. Internationally, European countries such as Milan, Amalfi, Rome and Frankfurt along with Tokyo are gaining immense popularity and emerging as another trending international destination for Indians,” says Amanpreet Singh Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager, India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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People embrace adventure, solo journeys, travel hacks in 2024

Travelers in India are adept at leveraging travel hacks to maximise affordability and enjoyment. A significant 43 per cent of them plan to utilise credit card points to offset expenses, while 42 percent opt for companies offering complimentary hotel benefits like upgrades and credits. 

Additionally, 35 per cent are adopting a blend of luxury and budget accommodations, and 31 per cent are strategically planning trips during off-peak seasons or opting to stay with friends and family, according to the American Express 2024 Global Travel Trends Report.

“From using travel hacks to embarking on solo journeys, Indians are redefining the travel landscape with their changing preferences and behaviors," says Sanjay Khanna, CEO and Country Manager, American Express Banking Corp., India.

The allure of solo travel resonates strongly with Indian adults, with 34 per cent planning to embark on solo journeys more frequently compared to the global average of 18 per cent. 

A staggering 84 percent of Indians planning solo trips aim to focus on self-love and personal rejuvenation, citing reasons such as reconnecting with themselves, seeking respite from daily chaos, and relishing independence, according to the report.

Exploring new cities, indulging in dining experiences and engaging in nightlife and excursions are facets of travel where Indians prefer spontaneity, relishing the freedom to immerse themselves in diverse cultures.

With food and accommodation as paramount considerations, beach vacations, adventure trips, and metropolitan explorations are high on the agenda for travelers. 

As the travel landscape evolves, Indian travelers are poised to redefine the boundaries of exploration, seeking enriching experiences, solo adventures, and spontaneous escapades, shaping a vibrant tapestry of travel culture in 2024.

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