According to the recent survey of MakeMyTrip, more than 65% of Indian travellers are actively searching and planning a vacation within the next two months. The survey titled ‘How India will travel once vaccinated’ conducted among 2,000 respondents in January indicates that over 70% of the respondents have taken a trip since Phase 1 of the Unlock – with nearly 40% of the travellers undertaking one or two mini vacations and 18% taking more than three trips during the pandemic.
The survey also shows that once vaccinated, 81% of the respondents will be seen travelling for leisure, 55% will travel to visit friends and relatives (VFR), and 46% will return to travelling for business or work.
In the months following the unlock, while people preferred travelling with family and spouse, post vaccination – travellers are looking forward to firm up travel plans with their friends (48%), colleagues (20%) and finding solace in solo travel (23%). What’s also interesting is that over 65% of the respondents are comfortable with booking group tours post taking the jab.
Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer at MakeMyTrip said: “The link between vaccination rollout and travel sentiment is directly proportional and the survey results corroborate that as vaccination programme advances there is a sharp recovery in travel demand. While Indians plan their summer break this year after having to skip it last summer, safety and hygiene remain on top of the mind while making travel or accommodation bookings.”
Safety and hygiene measures practiced at the stay property, along with customer reviews will remain a key parameter for shortlisting accommodations. While travellers are highly optimist and are eagerly waiting to explore the world of travel without the fear of infection, travellers do not wish to let the guard down post the vaccination as well. Over 50% of the travellers will continue to prioritize safety and hygiene when travelling, whereas 45% indicated that they will be slightly more relaxed but will still remain cautious.
While preference for premium properties will remain strong, travellers, majorly in the age group of 18 years to 30 years will be seen actively considering alternative accomodation properties including villas, homestays and apartments. About 95% of the respondents indicated that customer reviews post unlock will remain an important parameter while shortlisting hotel properties in the future.
Road trips to driveable destinations will continue to be preferred by travellers. Over 70% respondents voted in favour of road trips to nearby destinations or leisure hotspots within 300kms from home city –with 80% opting to drive in their own personal vehicles, even after getting vaccinated. Almost 86% travellers have shown comfort in travelling to distant leisure hotspots in the coming months.
Travellers will go back to indulging in hyper-local experiences and activities. Freedom to explore the destination will be back on the cards post-vaccination. Travellers will prefer stepping out of the hotel premises for local sightseeing and activities (85%) and indulge in local delicacies and flavours (72%). More than 70% of the surveyed are looking forward to indulge in adventure activities whereas nearly 40% are waiting to return to cricket stadiums, concert grounds and other community events.
Amongst destinations, travellers will be seen going after immersive experiences that suit their varied travel mood and interests –with many opting for a natural escape in the hills (67%); relaxing holiday at beach resorts in Goa or Puducherry (63%); soaking in the thrill of adventure tours at national parks or sanctuaries (38%); celebrating magnificence of heritage spots in Jaipur and Udaipur; and visiting popular pilgrimage sites (28%) and more.