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Indian travel trends from the 2022 Amex study

November 23, 2022: Looking forward to taking some time off for celebrating the holiday season with family (82%), Indian consumers are planning on spending the most on travel and shopping more thoughtfully (88%) this year according to the Amex Trendex[1], a trend report from American Express. With a desire to spend more quality time with loved ones 8-in-10 (87%) Indian consumers agree that they are thinking about starting or restarting the tradition of traveling during the holiday season as they agree that their fondest memories are from holiday family vacations. Supporting the local economy is important for Indian consumers as 6-in-10 respondents are planning on spending more at small businesses this holiday season compared to 2021.
Says Sanjay Khanna, CEO, American Express Banking Corp India: “We see two strong shifts in the Indian consumer’s spending patterns this holiday season. One, there is higher indulgence in experiences they would like to share with family and friends and two, there is a shift towards more thoughtful gifting like sustainable products from local brands, thereby supporting smaller entrepreneurs or local shop owners”.
 “Our Amex trendex report indicates that majority of the respondents have expressed their intention to spend their holiday season by experiencing atleast one event. Given that offline events have made a comeback, 62% respondents are inclined towards music festivals whereas 56% are looking forward to a sporting event. With travel being on all-time high, Indian consumers are planning to travel for events overseas. American Express will continue to empower our Cardmembers to make the most of this holiday season with our services and products to live newer experiences.”
Indians prefer spending time and planning holiday events with friends and family this holiday season
1.     Highest amongst all the surveyed countries, 75% Indian respondents want to plan a holiday event for family and/or friends this holiday season.
2.     82% Indian adults and 83% Indian GenZers and Millennials are planning to celebrate the holiday season with family.
3.     67% Indian respondents want to attend cultural events including holidays, parades, festivals this holiday season.
Giving Back to the Community and Supporting Small Businesses High Priority - Consumers are taking steps to support their local communities during the holidays. According to the Amex Trendex, 69% of Indian consumers surveyed believe it’s more important than before to support small businesses this holiday season.
1.     92% surveyed Indians agree that they will be dining out at their favourite local restaurants to celebrate the holidays.
2.     88% Indian respondents agree that it has been a difficult time for small businesses, and they want to support them. 
3.     88% of Indian respondents agree that they plan on donating to charity to give to those less fortunate this holiday season.
4.     Compared to last year, 70% surveyed Indian GenZers and Millennials are more likely to shop at small businesses this holiday season.
5.     44% of surveyed Indians want to volunteer in their community this holiday season.
Thoughtful Shopping and Gifting Important for Consumers as 91% Indian respondents agreed that they would spend more if it meant getting the right gift.
1.     88% of surveyed Indian consumers agreed that they are shopping for thoughtful gifts over luxury gifts this holiday season.
2.     89% of Indian respondents agree that they prefer to buy sustainable products and gifts during the holiday season.
3.     87% of Indian respondents agree that they would rather purchase experiences as gifts (e.g., theatre tickets, treatments, concert tickets) for their friends and family rather than physical material gifts this year.
Online Shopping, Digital Forms of Payments and Earning while Spending Popular amongst Indian Consumers as 9 out of 10 agree that they are more likely to shop online if free shipping and free returns is given as an option and 88% agree that they want to earn credit card rewards for online purchases this holiday season.
1.     86% of Indian respondents agree that having a go-to credit card would make their holiday spending easier.|
2.     70% of the surveyed Indians are paying for items using a digital wallet to help cover holiday shopping expenses.
3.     58% of Indian respondents want to purchase items with credit card points to help cover holiday shopping expenses.
The Amex Trendex is a trend index that tracks how consumers, small businesses, and merchants are feeling about spending, saving, traveling and more. Data is sourced on a monthly basis in the United States and biannually globally, including in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Mexico, India, and Canada.
An infographic accompanying this report can be found here