Indian travelers prioritize value when choosing holiday destinations, with choices significantly influenced by flight costs and attraction expenses. But they will also book business class or first class tickets.
These insights were revealed in a report released by Skyscanner on Tuesday, the first from the travel search engine focused on India.
According to the report, 63% of Indian travelers are planning to increase their travel budgets for 2024. Only 7% of respondents said they would spend less, while 25% intend to maintain the same budget.
In 2023, Skyscanner has seen a 55% increase in the number of people searching the website, said Mohit Joshi, travel trends and destination expert at Skyscanner.
Here are other insights from the report.
Indian Travelers Get Inspiration From Movies and TV
Cinema and television play an important in inspiring travel, with 39% using film and TV as sources of travel ideas. Following the launch of Season 3 of “Emily in Paris,” Skyscanner recorded a 23% increase in searches from India to Paris in January 2023.
The report further noted 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 these.
They’re 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 local cuisine rank as the most popular activities while abroad.
Music and Lyrics: Around 37% of Indian travelers, referred to as “superfans,” are willing to fly short-haul to see their favorite artists perform live, with 20% willing to go long-haul for such experiences.
Also, 44% said they are planning to attend a music gig, 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 keen on culinary experiences and according to Skyscanner, 59% of respondents have selected a destination purely based on the food offerings. Joshi said that this finding was surprising to him as well.
Short-Haul and Far-Flung Destinations
The report highlights Indian travelers’ preference for short-haul travel, with six out of the top 10 trending destinations located near cities. Beach destination Da Nang in Vietnam tops the list, with Krabi and Seychelles’ Mahe Island also gaining popularity.
Among far-flung destinations, Osaka and Auckland are the top destinations, with Japan being a top foodie destination attracting travelers.
Sleep Health and Retreats
Skyscanner’s report reveals an increasing interest in sleep health among Indian travelers. Almost 85% of respondents claim to be more mindful of their sleep health today compared to previous years. Furthermore, a fifth consider sleep as one of the primary activities for their next holiday and 66% said they sleep better on a holiday.
However, 46% of Indian travelers admit they are not getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. A significant 65% of travelers feel the need for a “sleep retreat” remedy in 2024.
And What’s Keeping Them Awake?
Digital Habits: While 90% of Indian travelers consider a switch-off from work important, they struggle to completely disconnect from work life. Around 43% are checking work email, and 30% are even searching for a new job while on a holiday.
Around 60% find themselves planning their next holiday on the phone, while 59% are scrolling on social media, and 56% are conducting online grocery shopping in preparation for their return home.
Joshi referred to India as an expanding market, highlighting the search engine’s sustained growth since last year. In August, Skyscanner introduced a Hindi version of its platform to cater to the specific needs of Indian travelers.
3 ‘Cool‘ Words We Learned
Luxe-for-Less Seekers: Despite cost-of-living concerns, travelers are up for spending a little more cash for that extra bit of comfort.
Gig Tripping: Mixing up their gig plans by heading abroad to see their favorite artists play.
Budget Bougie Foodies: Travelers having booked a destination purely based on the culinary experience.