Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel have conducted a survey as part of their Third Holiday Readiness Report which has found that people’s interest in travel has increased tremendously post-Covid. The survey involved 4000 customers from across India’s Tier 1-3 cities and attempts to identify emerging consumer behaviours that would drive travel choices in Covid times.
Following Covid-caused travel restrictions, less Indian were travelling for non-essential work for the most part of 2020. However, with the second wave subsiding, more people are coming out and expressing a desire to start travelling immediately and get over the stagnancy of the pandemic.
69% of the customers surveyed expressed a keen interest to travel in 2021 post ease of restrictions. While 18 per cent were ready to travel immediately post unlock, 51 per cent preferred to travel within the next 3-6 months.
However, an increased number of people now prefer hygienic staying options and safety protocols. 66 per cent of respondents expressed willingness to spend more on health and safety during their holiday. Owing to the uncertainty created by the pandemic, 81 per cent of the surveyed also stressed on refundable or zero cancellation products.
Furthermore, travellers want options for both domestic and international travel in equal numbers. While Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh, Himachal, Andamans, Goa and Kerala are the much desired domestic destinations, Dubai-Abu Dhabi, Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand, Europe etc. remain much preferred international destinations.
While about 35 per cent vouched for a 3-5 day holiday, 52 per cent vouched for a 6-12 day long break and 13 per cent opted for over 12 days.
While about 62 per cent expressed their desire to travel with family or friends, 20 per cent wish to travel solo and 18 per cent in a vaccinated group.
While about 77 per cent prefer to interact with an expert for guidance/reassurance, 27 per cent opted to handle their holiday booking through retail outlets, 17 per cent for home services, 33 per cent preferred contactless experience, and 23 per cent wish to make bookings through website or app.