46% citizens likely to travel in the festive season with 60% rise in travelers as compared to the monsoon season
- ● Only 6% have made their bookings so far which means many may look for last-minute deals or undertake road travel
- ● Of those who plan to travel in October-December, 34% plan to visit family and friends
October 5, 2021, New Delhi: The major festive season commences in India in the months of October to December bringing with it the cheer of high spirit and positive sentiment. It is the time of the year when holidays take people back home to their friends and families for the festive celebration. The Central Government has eased most travel restrictions after the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 outbreak barring international travel. Most State Governments have also eased travel restrictions completely, with a few still demanding that travelers produce RT-PCR test report if not double dose vaccinated.
The rise in travel during the festive season is also likely to give a boost to the hospitality sector of the country, which recorded a revenue per available room (RevPAR) of INR 1,582 during FY21, the lowest in the last 22 years, according to a report by Hotelivate. It can be mentioned here that many families had to cancel their summer travel plans amidst the drastic surge of the 2nd wave of COVID-19 that reached its peak in mid-May. Then as the country entered into unlocking the economy after the outbreak, an exercise conducted by LocalCircles found out that 28% of citizens had made plans to travel during August and September.
As the festive season in India approaches later this week, starting with Durga Puja and Navratra, LocalCircles has conducted another survey to understand the travel plans of people in October to December. The survey also tried to understand how domestic travel is picking up through a comparative analysis with a similar survey conducted in July this year. The survey received more than 19,000 responses from citizens residing in 331 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 44% respondents were from tier 1, 27% from tier 2, and 29% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
46% citizens planning to travel during October-December though only 6% have made their bookings
As many people look forward to travelling during October to December, the first question in the survey sought to know about their current plan. In response, 6% of citizens said they “have plans and have booked tickets, stay”, 22% “have plans to travel during these 3 months but have not booked tickets and stay yet”, 18% “have plans to travel during these 3 months but have not booked tickets and stay yet and will only decide close to travel date”. There were also 38% of citizens who “have no plans to travel during these 3 months”, and 16% are undecided or couldn’t say. On an aggregate basis, 46% of citizens are planning to travel during October to December though only 6% have made their bookings. This question in the survey received 10,198 responses. It must be noted that this travel includes all modes of transportation including air, rail and road.
Festive Season (Oct-Dec) likely to see 60% jump in citizens travelling as compared to Monsoon Season (Aug-Sep)
As the country was unlocking the economy after the 2nd wave of the outbreak, a similar exercise was conducted in July to understand the travel plan of citizens in August and September, which found out that only 28% of citizens planned to travel during the period. With many festivals lined up in the coming months, the tourism industry is likely to see a 60% jump in citizens travelling as compared to Monsoon Season (August to September).
Of those who plan to travel in October-December, 34% plan to visit family and friends
Come October, many parts of India have holidays for festivals like Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, and there is a good bit of travel that takes place as many head home. Many citizens also tend to club these holidays with weekends by taking a day or two off from work. The next question in the survey asked citizens about what kind of personal travel do they plan to undertake in the next few months (Oct-Dec)? In response, 14% of citizens said “(1) holiday destination”, 22% of citizens said “(2) visit family and friends” and 9% said “(3) other travel”. Breaking down the poll, 4% of citizens surveyed plan to undertake “1 & 2” type of personal travels from the aforementioned options. Another 4% will undertake “2 & 3”, 6% said “1 & 3”, and 4% said all “1, 2 & 3” kinds of personal travel. There were also 33% of citizens who said they “have no plans to travel during these 3 months”, and 4% couldn’t say. The findings of the survey indicate that of those who plan to travel in October to December, 34% plan to visit family and friends. This question in the survey received 9,612 responses.
When responses given by citizens are aggregated on the basis of types of personal travel, as some plan to undertake multiple types of travel, it was found out that 34% plan to “visit family and friends”, 28% will visit a “holiday destination”, and 23% will undertake “other kinds of travel”.
In summary, 48% of citizens plan to travel during October-December though only 6% have made their bookings. This indicates that airlines, hotels, travel portals are likely to see strong demand as the festive season progresses. Of those who plan to travel in October-December, 34% plan to visit family and friends. A comparative analysis of the latest survey with a survey published in July found that October-December is likely to see 60% jump in citizens travelling as compared to Monsoon Season (Aug-Sep).
The Government, however, must continue to create awareness amongst people about limiting non-essential travel till the time the risk of a 3rd COVID wave greatly reduces. The other aspect that must be reiterated by all stakeholders like the Government, airlines, railways, hotels, etc. is the importance of mask and social distancing compliance. It must be remembered that the travel rush expected in the festive season is somewhat similar to the rush that was observed in March this year when many families undertook travel post-school sessions ending or booked their travel in April-May only to cancel it later due to the arrival of 2nd COVID wave.
As always, LocalCircles will be submitting the findings of this survey with Central Government and State Governments so they are all aware of the on-ground situation in regard to people’s travel plans and act on sensitisation of public on mask and social distancing compliance, and keep a very close eye on daily case-loads for India cannot afford a 3rd COVID wave at this junction.
The survey received more than 19,000 responses from citizens residing in 331 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 44% respondents were from tier 1, 27% from tier 2 and 29% 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.