Thomas Cook India, an integrated travel services company, and its Group company SOTC Travel surveyed over 2,700 customers across India in a recent survey to identify emerging consumer behaviours and trends that will drive travel preferences during the Covid era. In comparison to the survey conducted by the companies in May 2020, the data reveals a significant increase in consumer confidence in travel.
Indians displayed strong appetite for holidays: a combination of lockdown fatigue and strong pent-up demand, coupled with positive sentiment due to announcements on the vaccine, saw 89 per cent of respondents displaying keen interest to resume travel; 11 per cent are unsure/undecided.
Both domestic and international travel in demand
Sixty-seven per cent of respondents said they are willing to travel in the next six months, while 33 per cent indicated that they would wait for the launch of the vaccine.
Both domestic and international travel are in demand, however, with 52 per cent of respondents stating that they are likely to take a domestic holiday. Preferred destinations in India include Goa (38 per cent); Himachal Pradesh (29 per cent); Ladakh and Kerala (20 per cent); the North East (19 per cent), and Kashmir and Andamans (15 per cent).
Given the easing of travel restrictions, international destinations are seeing an upward demand trajectory with 48 per cent of respondents likely to take an international holiday. Europe tops the leaderboard at 58 per cent; favoured destinations include Switzerland, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This is followed by strong interest for short-haul destinations (50 per cent) such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, the Maldives and Indonesia. Australia and New Zealand (25 per cent) also feature well, followed by the Americas (19 per cent).
Vaccines and health pass could boost confidence
Health and safety continues to take top priority in travel decisions, with 93 per cent of respondents highlighting this as the most important factor while deciding on a holiday.
With the announcement of approved vaccines, and initiatives such as the IATA travel health pass, confidence in travel could be rebuilt in people across the world soon, giving the travel industry a new lease of life.