What Indian travelers are looking for now: India Report

Change Take

Indian travelers are price sensitive, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they don’t spend much. They all want to get a return for their money.

— Peden Doma Bhutia

Indian travelers prioritize value when choosing vacation destinations, with choices heavily influenced by flight costs and attraction costs. But they will also book business class or first class tickets.

These insights were revealed in a report published by Skyscanner on Tuesday, the first from the travel search engine to focus on India.

According to the report, 63% of Indian travelers plan to increase their travel budgets for 2024. Only 7% of those surveyed said they would spend less, while 25% intend to keep their budget the same.

In 2023, Skyscanner saw a 55% increase in the number of people searching the website, it said Mohit Joshitravel trends and destinations expert at Skyscanner.

Here are other insights from the report.

Indian travelers are inspired by movies and television

Film and TV play an important role in travel inspiration, with 39% using film and TV as sources of travel ideas. Following the launch of Emily in Paris season 3, Skyscanner recorded a 23% increase in searches from India to Paris in January 2023.

The report further notes that while 94% of Indian travelers are inspired to take a trip to a destination they’ve seen on the big or small screen, only 62% go on to book one.

They are looking for experiences

Food, culture and weather rank as the top three factors influencing the choice of holiday destinations for 2024.

Shopping, historical tours and sampling the local cuisine rank as the most popular activities abroad.

Music and lyrics: About 37% of Indian travelers, referred to as “super fans”, are willing to fly short-haul to see their favorite artists perform live, with 20% willing to travel long-haul for such experiences.

Additionally, 44% say they plan to attend a music concert, concert or festival in 2024, and 79% would consider traveling abroad for a music event, provided they see value in it.

Food for thought: Indians are passionate about culinary experiences, and according to Skyscanner, 59% of respondents chose a destination based solely on the food on offer. Joshi said this finding was surprising to him as well.

Short distances and long distances

The report highlights Indian travelers’ preference for short-haul travel, with six of the top 10 destinations located near cities. A beach destination Yes Nang in Vietnam tops the list, with Crabs and Seychelles Mahe Island is also gaining popularity.

Among distant destinations, Osaka and Auckland are the top destinations, with Japan being a top foodie destination attracting travelers.

Sleep health and privacy

Skyscanner report reveals growing interest in sleep health among Indian travelers. Almost 85% of those surveyed say they are more mindful of their sleep health today compared to previous years. In addition, one in five consider sleep to be one of the main activities for their next vacation, and 66% say they sleep better on vacation.

However, 46% of Indian travelers admit to not getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. A significant 65% of travelers will experience a need for a “soothing sleep” medication in 2024.

And what keeps them awake?

Digital habits: Although 90% of Indian travelers consider giving up work important, they struggle to give up work life completely. About 43% check their work email and 30% even look for a new job while on vacation.

Around 60% say they plan their next holiday on the phone, while 59% scroll through social media and 56% shop online for groceries in preparation for their return home.

Joshi pointed to India as an expanding market, highlighting the search engine’s steady growth over the past year. In August, Skyscanner introduced a Hindi version of its platform to meet the specific needs of Indian travelers.

3 ‘Cool Words we learned

Seekers of luxury for less: Despite concerns about the cost of living, travelers are willing to spend a little more money for that extra comfort.

Gig Tripping: They mix up their concert plans by heading overseas to see their favorite artists perform.

Budget Bougie Foodies: Travelers who booked a destination based solely on the culinary experience.

Photo: Indian travelers prioritize value for money when choosing their holiday destinations.

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