SUNDAY Special Feature:
Despite complex global challenges, including inflation, geopolitical instability, climate change and supply chain disruptions, this year’s research uncovers a striking paradox: a remarkable 86 per cent of Indian travellers are brimming with optimism about their future travel plans, while 61 per cent have no intention of postponing their travel plans in the next 12 months. Even more striking, over half (59 per cent) of these travellers intend to maintain, if not increase, the number of trips they take and 68 percent intend to increase their travel expenditure budget for the year ahead, finds travel site Booking.com’s, 2023 edition APAC Travel Confidence Index (TCI).
The study provides perceptions into the attitudes of APAC travellers and the significant influence that economic and global concerns have on their travel choices. India is the nation with the second-most confident passengers out of the 11 APAC nations surveyed, just behind Hong Kong. After Singapore and Taiwan, China comes in third.
Indians stand out for their unusual travel behaviours, especially in how they approach itineraries and how much attention they place on cuisine. More than half (57 per cent) prefer to follow a set schedule and reserve their lodging, activities, and meals in advance. This suggests a desire for a planned travel experience and the confidence that requested services will be booked in advance. Even though they are open to trying new foods, a sizeable percentage (60 per cent) believe that having access to Indian food is essential while making vacation arrangements.
Indian travellers have a stronger inclination to explore their own country (43 per cent) and foster meaningful connections on their travels (33 per cent). When it comes to destinations they would like to explore domestically, a majority of the respondents (71 per cent) want to travel to North India, 60 per cent lean towards destinations in South India, 41 per cent West India, 37 per cent North East India, 16 per cent East India and 13 per cent opted for Central India.
Top Places and Activities of Interest while Travelling
Indian tourists exhibit a strong preference for nature and scenic areas (67 per cent), suggesting a desire to immerse oneself in the beauty of natural settings. Beaches (63 per cent) and food and dining (57 per cent), which also maintain a strong attraction, are next in line. Shopping (52 per cent), local culture and lifestyle (55 per cent) and tourist attractions and landmarks (56 percent), among other things, are of interest. Compared to Indians, APAC tourists prefer to seek out food, then nature, tourist destinations, and beaches.