Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel jointly release report for travel post COVID-19
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company, along with its Group company SOTC Travel Ltd. surveyed over 2500 consumers across India’s metros and Tier 1 & 2 cities (including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jamnagar, Surat, Vizag, Indore, Jaipur, etc.), covering 4 age groups: below 30 years, 31-44 years, 45-59 years and 60 years and above; 76% being in the 28-55 age segment. The Holiday Readiness Travel Report – Future of Travel post COVID-19 reflects key consumer behaviours and trends. Key findings include:
Travel is set to rebound
Indians will continue to Travel: 14% respondents indicated that they are likely to travel in 2020 once restrictions are lifted. While 45% of respondents plan to defer their holiday to 2021, 41% are undecided. The festive seasons were preferred in 2020: either November (29%) or December (50%).
Key Travel Drivers
72% respondents preferred reputed brands across their journey – including tour operators, hotel chains, etc. Health & Safety ranks as the primary concern for 75% respondents; with 35% willing to increase their spends to ensure the same.
Domestic Tourism is set to take centre stage
A domestic holiday was the first choice of 64% of respondents. Destinations selected were Ladakh (20%), Goa (17%), North East (15%), Kerala (11%); Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir followed closely; Bhutan (17%) in the Indian sub-continent. Destinations at a driveable distance were also preferred, including Coorg, Ooty, Mussoorie, Shimla, Amritsar, Munnar, etc.
36% respondents showed a preference for an international holiday. Short-haul destinations (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi) saw strong interest (41%). Long-haul destinations that traditionally witness demand in Q4 also featured, like Australia & New Zealand (20%); USA (16%). What is noteworthy is the significant demand for Europe at 38%; favoured destinations included Switzerland, France, Germany, UK, Czech Republic.
Size of Group
Respondents displayed a noticeable preference towards travelling in smaller groups- primarily due to health/hygiene. 63% respondents were inclined to travel solo, with their immediate/extended family or friends/colleagues; 25% respondents preferred to travel in small groups of below 20 co-travellers and 12% opted for a group size of approximately 35+.
86% respondents chose a holiday duration between 4-11 days (51% preferring 4-7 days, 35% preferring 8-11 days); 14% opted for a holiday of over 12 days.
Shift in Holiday Spending Patterns
Value-centric/Pocket-Friendly Holidays: 67% of respondents stated that they would spend less than Rs. 1 lakh per person on their next holiday, while 11% said that they would spend up to Rs. 2 lakhs per person.
Consumers continued to express interest in a personal touch/reassurance to their travel booking experience- with 58% opting to purchase holidays through retail outlets or home service (38% retail and 20% home visits). This was followed by 40% opting for online channels (Website/App) and 12% stating a preference for video chat.