16 December 2011

Indians Prefer Abroad Vacations Despite Rupee Downfall

The speculated economic slowdown and the sliding down of rupee have not affected Indians at all as the number of Indians planning at least one international vacation a year, is predicted to go up in 2012, reveals the India Travel Trends Survey 2012 released by TripAdvisor, a travel portal. The report said regardless of the current economic climate, 44 percent respondents expect they will spend more on leisure travel next year; however, 45 percent anticipate spending the same amount as they did in 2011. Compared to last year, there is a 20 percent increase in Indians planning at least one international vacation.

Surprisingly, United Kingdom emerged as the most preferred hot, spot among Indians, The other countries that made it to the top five International destinations list for Indians are Thailand, Singapore, U.S. and China. However, only 8 percent among those surveyed said that they will visit U.K. this summer for the London 2012 Olympics. Owing to the current debt crisis, 53 percent of the respondents opined that 2012 is a good year to visit European countries like Italy, Greece and Spain, as it will be inexpensive to travel there.

The study was conducted amid a cross section of Indians, including those employed in government, public sector, private companies, multinationals and the self-employed. The sample size of the survey was 890, with respondents in the age group of 21-60 years and a male-female ratio of 60:40, said a Trip Advisor spokesperson.

Speaking to Times of India Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India, said, “Forty-six per cent respondents spent more than a lakh rupee on their holidays this year and only 8 percent respondents said they cancelled a leisure trip in 2011 owing to the high inflationary trend.'' The year 2012 looks similarly resilient to inflation as, 65 percent respondents indicated they will not cut back on their leisure travel in 2012 even if the inflationary upward trend continues and 89 percent plan to spend same or more on their travel budget in 2012. "A majority of 40 percent claim the increase in fuel prices will not impact their road trips in 2012," Nikhil added.

Among those interviewed for the survey, 59 percent said they took at least three domestic leisure trips this year and 64 percent said they went for at least one international holiday. "The outlook for 2012 seems even more promising for travel with 53 percent claiming they will travel more in the coming year," said Nikhil.

Further, the survey highlighted that 79 percent of the respondents opined that while on vacation next year in 2012, they will put conscious stress to remain less connected to their respective work. The report said, although ipads/tablets have made recent entry in the market, the average Indian prefers to pack a laptop as a travel gadget to avail the related information on the go. ipads/tablets are preferred next followed by Blackberry in the third place.

Beaches and hills have forever remained as hot favorites amongst Indians. But the report demonstrated that adventure holidays are also gaining limelight, as 72 percent tourists on their holiday in 2012, plan to experience some kind of adventure activity or sport. Camping emerged as the most preferred adventure activity amid Indians, as 28 percent respondent said that they would prefer to camp in the wild. The other adventurous activities that came in the most preferred list were scuba diving (20 percent), followed by hiking (18 percent) and white water rafting (17 percent). 74 percent of the respondents said they will purchase travel insurance in 2012, out of which 58 percent will acquire it only for travel abroad.

Majority of Indians prefer environment-friendly holidays, as 65 percent of those surveyed said that they will avoid littering, 55 per cent affirmed to reduce laundry usage and 42 percent said that they would opt for an eco-friendly accommodation.