Bangalore, January 13, 2015: The just-released “HolidayIQ Insights: Travel Trend Forecast 2016”, suggests that domestic travel dominates the India travel scene, easily outpacing both interbnational arrivals and Indian travelling abroad.
The Forecast examines actions of more than 12 million monthly users on the HolidayIQ, analyses and identifies trends that have emerged on domestic vacations in India.
1. Experience-led travel continues to increase in 2016
Holidays are becoming increasingly experience-led instead of destination led. Activity based travel has expanded to include options for adrenaline junkies to music lovers and from soul seekers to foodies and everyone in between. Trekking, rafting, kayaking, jet skiing, surfing, scuba diving and snorkelling, jungle safaris, food trails, rural tourism, glamping, wildlife immersives among others will be the norm in 2016.Travellers sign up for high octane adventure sports including Heli Skiing in Auli (Uttarakhand), Scuba Diving in Netrani Island (in the Arabian Sea), Dune Bashing in Jaisalmer, Hot Air Ballooning in Ranthambore, Sky Diving in Mysore, Zip Lining at Neemrana Fort (Delhi), Spelunking in Meghalaya or Kite Surfing at Morjim Beach (Goa).
2. Evolution of ‘in-trip planning’
Traditionally everything about a holiday – where to go, where to stay, how to reach, what to do, etc was to be decided before the trip began. The arrival of mobile apps on the travel scene have essentially created a new paradigm in travel planning, the ‘in-trip’ paradigm. Today, travellers decide one or all of the trip planning questions on the go. In 2016, we see overall holiday planning to move gradually from ‘pre-trip’ to ‘in-trip’.
3. Domestic travel is increasingly becoming popular
According to data released by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in 2015, the number of foreign tourists arriving in India is 5.7 million, number of international trips planned by Indians travellers is 18 million and the number of domestic trips planned is 1290.1 million. The scale at which domestic travel is poised to grow is tremendous. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Wayanad, Shimla, Goa, Jaisalmer, Coorg, Srinagar, Darjeeling, Manali and Ooty are predicted the top domestic hotspots. In international travel; places like Dubai, Maldives, Thailand, Singapore and Bhutan shall pick up.
4. Women to travel more in 2016
In recent years, the number of trips planned by women travellers is increasing. Solo women travel is increasing and so are group, family and couple trips planned by women. Solo trips will continue to gain momentum in 2016 and the average trip length will also increase to be 5 - 7 days. Solo trips are gaining popularity across age groups and are extremely popular is the 18 – 24, 24-36 age groups. Destinations such as Kerala, Goa, Pondicherry, Manali, Auli, Shimla, Corbett, Bandipur, Coorg will be favourites among women travellers. Interestingly, holidays planned by women have a 17% higher budget than holidays planned by men.
5. 2016 to witness a rise in alternate accommodation options such as homestays
Hotels and resorts continue to be the popular choice as a holiday accommodation option accounting for over 60% of trips planned. However in the last 18-24 months there is an interest in alternate accommodation options such as homestays, experiential resorts, camps, serviced, apartments, jungle lodges and the like. The share of travellers choosing to stay in homestays has increased from under 10% in 2013 to 18% in 2015 and is slated to grow to more than 20% in 2016.
In 2016 Munnar, Goa, Coorg, Udaipur, Pune and Manali may emerge as the most popular alternate accommodation options.
6. Travel to be more visual and social.
The proliferation of smartphones, better internet penetration and arrival of a plethora of travel apps is making travel more visual and social. Sharing moments from holidays on the go has become a critical part of the holiday experience in itself. In a recent survey conducted by HolidayIQ, more than 67% of HolidayIQ travellers said they prefer smartphones for capturing travel photos, 16% travellers used both smartphones and DSLRs, 11% are DSLR purists, while 3% used a digital point-and-shoot camera.
7. More unique destinations to be explored
There is an increase in the number of destinations being explored. From only 685 holiday destinations being explored in 2011 to 2300 in 2015, the number has grown rapidly showing a significant increase in the percentage of holidays being planned year on year. This percentage is predicted to grow further in 2016.
8. Road trips to grow further
Better infrastructure in terms of road connectivity, availability of transport options such as cabs, taxis, self-driven cars and more travellers opting for driving holidays has increased the popularity of road trips. With international trips such as Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia also now just a road trip away, this trend is slated to grow. Indians can now head on Road trips will lead share of all holidays planned in 2016. Another segment which will see an increase is domestic flights, more travellers will choose to fly in 2016
9. Travellers will continue to allocate higher budgets for holidays
Indians are starting to take their holidays seriously, in a large part due to mobile apps. Today, we find that people are travelling through the year; they are taking many shorter breaks, looking at the destinations that are a few hours’ distance away. They are also going for more experiential holidays. Budget travel is on the rise, where people are willing to compromise on accommodation and travel expenses. People are looking for more adventure and more destinations to fulfil their adventurous streak. The analysis on the total holiday budget paints a positive picture for travel this year, with travellers twice as likely to be increasing vacation budgets year on year than cutting spend. From the findings we have concluded that overall, travellers planned to spend more on their holidays in 2015. This is evident in the above table as the average travel spent, per person, has increased from Rs . 1,086 in 2011 to Rs 3,764 this year. On an average, Indians planned to increase their total holiday travel budget by 30% per cent; from Rs 12,585 in 2011 to Rs 33,368 in 2015. In 2016 we see a proportion of travellers planning to travel more, and this number shall increase across almost all markets.|
10. Couples & Singles |
The share of holidays planned by couples and singles have consistently increased while the family and group segment see a decline. Hence 2016 will l witness the share of couple travellers crossing the 52% mark, and single travellers - the 12% mark.
11. Travellers from Non-Metro cities will travel & spend more than their counterparts in metros
With more people from more parts of India turning to travel as the primary leisure option, more destinations are being discovered. People from non-metro cities first discover destinations close home. People who travel often crave offbeat places. Over the last 18-20 months, we have seen an increased interest from non-metro cities. The report states that the spend on leisure travel is now maximum in non-metro cities and this number will continue to increase.
12. Weekend Travel to increase
Holidays are no longer an annual affair but a reason to getaway every few weeks. Long weekends have changed the way travellers and the tourism industry look at the Indian traveller. This has created a market for alternate travel possibilities such as recently observed growth in Festive Tourism, Tiger Tourism, Wedding Tourism, Monsoon Tourism and the like. Travellers from metros are essentially discovering new destinations within a 200-300 km radius for quick weekend getaways. In 2015, close to 65 % trips planned were weekend getaways and in 2016 we expect this grow further by 10%