As COVID prevalence dips, 45% citizens surveyed plan to travel in the next 2 months of the festive season
- ● Over 50% jump in the number of people planning travel as compared to last festive season
- ● Of those travelling, 48% plan to visit family/friends while 31% planning to go for a destination holiday
- ● About half of them have already made their booking and the remaining are yet to do so
September 8, 2022, New Delhi: After two years of Covid-19 linked health concerns, the urge to travel and explore either alone or visit family and friends is reviving sharply, a new national survey by LocalCircles has found. Conducted in the month of August seeking to understand the travel plans during the months of September and October, the survey found that 45% of over 22,000 respondents have travel plans during the festive season. So far 21% respondents have booked the tickets and reserved the accommodation, an indication of confirmed travel plans, while another 3% have plans to utilize prior booked but deferred travel tickets and accommodation, while 21% respondents have plans to travel in the next two months but are still to make bookings. Another 13% are still undecided while 42% have no travel plans.
45% citizens planning to travel in the next 2 months (September - October); 24% have already made their bookings
Compared to August 2021, considerable improvement in consumer sentiments as the percentage of those not inclined to travel has dipped from 63% to 42%
If compared to the outcome of a survey conducted in August 2021, the new survey indicates considerable improvement in consumer sentiments as the percentage of those not inclined to take a holiday to travel has dipped from 63% to 42%, while those having bought tickets and confirmed stay plans has risen from mere 5% in the corresponding month last year to 21% in August 2022. Another category where there is a noticeable difference is the rise in percentage of those undecided. This could well be due to families feeling the pinch due to rising cost of living, education, healthcare and even travel, which has made a considerable dent in the savings and leisure budget of thousands of families.
Reflecting improvement in travel sentiments, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in its latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) has forecast that the sector’s contribution to the Indian economy could surpass pre-pandemic levels to reach almost Rs. 15.9 trillion (U.S. $215 billion) in 2022, with a year-on-year growth of 20.7% which is 1% above 2019 levels.
Following the significant decline in 2020, the global tourism body’s latest EIR report reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the country’s Travel & Tourism sector. In 2022, the jobs in the sector are set to grow to almost 35 million, an 8.3% growth over last year, when employment in the sector dipped due to impact of the second wave of the health pandemic. In 2019, the sector supported more than 40 million jobs, which fell to slightly over 29 million in 2020 due the lockdown and travel restrictions.
The percentage of those having bought tickets and confirmed stay plans has risen from 5% in the corresponding month last year to 21% in August 2022
Hospitality company OYO’s mid-summer vacation index 2022 report released in May also states that apart from hotels, people are opting for alternate accommodations such as villas and home-stays. Short trips of 1-3 days are the preferred choice for 55% Indians, it said. The pandemic-induced trend of not booking a holiday weeks and months in advance apparently continues with 1 in every 3 respondents saying they prefer booking their travel within the same week.
48% are planning trip to visit family and friends and combining it with miscellaneous travel, 31% are looking forward to a destination holiday
In keeping with normal Indians' preferences of combining family visits with holidays, of those traveling the survey revealed that 28% respondents have plans to visit just family and friends in September-October, 11% were planning just a destination holiday while 21% were planning a trip for other reasons. There is a sizable 10% percent respondents who are planning to combine family/friends visits with miscellaneous travel which could include religious trips, attending events or getting pending works done. Another 10% are planning holiday travel combined with miscellaneous travel and 7% respondents are planning to do all three i.e. family and friends visit, miscellaneous travel and visiting a holiday destination.
Though the survey respondents did not indicate plans of overseas travel plans or a mix of business cum holiday plans, this is a growing segment as tourism trade reports indicate. A recent report titled 'Outbound Travel and Tourism - An Opportunity Untapped' industry lobby FICCI, points out that in 2021, Indians spent approximately USD 12.6 billion in outbound trips, compared to USD 22.9 billion in 2019. While the reason for decrease in spending could be due to the pandemic, the report projects that there is a huge untapped potential in this sector. Its projection is that outbound trips from India could surpass USD 42 billion by 2024 provided the government brought about some policy changes to boost this growing market.
Type of travels people likely to take stays same for the next 2 months (September - October) with travel to visit family-friends occupying top slot
With several festivals in the next 2 months (September - October), more people likely to undertake travel to visit friends & family or other miscellaneous travel
In summary, the leisure travel sentiments have finally picked up with 45% of respondents having either firmed up bookings or in the process of doing so. Of those planning a trip in September-October, 48% are planning a trip to visit family and friends and combining it with miscellaneous travel, while 31% are looking forward to a destination holiday. The catch for those still planning to do their travel bookings is the affordability. The government decision to remove the cap on air fares is likely to work to the advantage of those yet to make the booking or are undecided as airlines may offer more competitive fares as compared to what they did in August.
The survey received over 42,000 responses from citizens located in over 341 districts of the country. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 45% respondents were from tier 1, 34% from tier 2 and 21% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.