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Being meticulous planners and financially independent, young travelers have made India a lucrative source market for several countries.

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More than 81% of the Indian GenZs – aged between 18 and 25 years – start planning their first international trips as soon as they secure a job or receive their first paycheck, online travel agency Skyscanner has revealed in a new report. Indians are historically known to start saving as soon as they are employed and have been conservative with their travel spends. These findings highlight how the youth, especially the growing middle class, is changing the tourism landscape in the country.

The Indian youth is, therefore, also becoming the segment that tourism players are aiming to cater and market themselves to, be it hotels or travel agencies.

Knowing the young Indian travelers: Budget is one of the most important considerations for young travelers, along with safety concerns. While two-thirds of the young Indian travelers prefer to save up for their travels, about 20% are also using the buy-now-pay-later options while booking their first international trips. 

The company also noted that more than half of the youth prefer to use their own money, including income and personal savings, for these travels. The youth also choose to take their first trip without parents or guardians.

Air India, All Nippon Airways Sign Codeshare Agreement 

Full-service carrier Air India has signed a codeshare agreement with Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways. Coming into effect from May 23, the agreement will enhance the flight options for travelers between India and Japan. 

Initially, the agreement would be applicable on flights between Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita in Japan and Delhi and Mumbai in India. The two airlines are considering expanding their agreement to additional routes. 

“This agreement will contribute to further consolidate the economic and commercial relations between India and Japan and will offer Indian tourists the opportunity to discover Japan and to Japanese citizens the opportunity to easily travel to India,” Air India said in a statement.

Domestic Air Traffic Touches New Single-Day High

The domestic air traffic reached 471,751 passengers on Sunday, making it the new single-day high, the Indian civil aviation ministry shared. This figure was 14% higher than the average pre-Covid count of nearly 399,000. 

“Domestic aviation in India is witnessing unprecedented growth, driven by factors such as concrete policies, economic development, and expansion of low-cost carriers. As more people gain access to air travel, the sector is expected to continue its upward trajectory,” the ministry said. 

Sustainable Travel Important to 95% Indian Travelers

As many as 95% of Indian travelers have said that sustainable travel is important to them, said online travel company in its Sustainable Travel Report 2024. Despite that, it said that nearly one-fourth (24%) of Indians feel traveling more sustainably is important, but not a primary consideration when planning or booking a trip.

The company further revealed that 93% Indians have said that they want to travel more sustainably over the next 12 months. “While 42% of Indian travelers think they can have a positive influence on the social impacts of travel, an equal number of travelers think the government holds the most potential for countering the economic efforts,” the agency said in a statement. 

Uttarakhand Begins Process to Make Dehradun Airport International

The Uttarakhand government has started the process to make Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport an international airport. The government has invited airlines to submit a proposal for operating discounted direct flights between Dehradun and Kathmandu in Nepal, according to an Economic Times report

The move is also being backed by the government of India in order to boost the country as an international destination. While India’s domestic air traffic levels have surpassed pre-Covid figures, the foreign tourist arrivals in India have not yet recovered to pre-Covid levels. Key stakeholders are working on ways to bring up the number of international tourists through increased direct international connectivity, ease of visas, and tourism circuits

Uncertainty Around India’s Airline Consolidation Phase

There is uncertainty around the extent and timing of the consolidation of Indian airlines, said an analyst from CAPA – Centre for Aviation. It added that while planned mergers and financial and legal troubles surround some airlines, the process is taking longer than the expected one or two years. 

The Tata Group is in the process of merging full-service carriers Air India and Vistara, which the aviation market intelligence firm believes is generally on track. On the other hand, GoFirst, Jet Airways, and SpiceJet have been facing issues. It is still unknown whether GoFirst and Jet Airways will revive, while SpiceJet has been raising funds and reaching agreements with several creditors. 

“So although there will be fewer airlines in the domestic market – the timing and extent of consolidation in India remains a shifting target. This is largely because of the ongoing regulatory and legal quagmire the smaller airlines are stuck in,” said Adrian Schofield. 


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Tags: air india, air traffic, air travel, airlines, airports, all nippon airways, aviation industry, aviation news, codeshares, hotels, india, india outbound, india travel, international tourism, skift india report, skyscanner, sustainable tourism, tourism, Travel Trends

Photo credit: Indian youth prefer to take their first trip without parents or guardians, choosing to travel independently instead. Dorothe / Pixabay

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