An online survey conducted by the travel portal found that Indians are more confident of travelling following the COVID vaccine rollout. However, safety and hygiene will continue to be deciding factors while planning their vacation.
The ongoing COVID-19 vaccine rollout seems to have buoyed the hopes of Indian travellers eager to step out safely once more. An online survey recently conducted by MakeMyTrip has found that 65% of Indian travellers are actively researching and planning a vacation for the next two months. “The link between vaccination rollout and travel sentiment is directly proportional and the survey results corroborate that as the vaccination programme advances there is a sharp recovery in travel demand. While Indians plan their summer break this year after having to skip it last summer, safety and hygiene remain on top of the mind while making travel or accommodation bookings,” said the travel portal’s COO, Vipul Prakash.
Till February 2021, over 70% of the respondents have taken a trip since India first began easing its nation-wide lockdown that was instituted last March. Nearly 40% of travellers have taken one or two mini vacations and 18% have taken more than three trips during the pandemic, said the survey.
How is the vaccine shaping travel plans?
According to MakeMyTrip, 81% of Indian travellers are keen on travelling for leisure once vaccinated, 55% said they would travel to meet family and friends, and 46% said they’d travel for business or work.
While Indians have primarily been taking trips with their families since lockdown restrictions in the country were lifted, post-vaccination, consumers are looking to travel with friends (48%) or colleagues (20%) with 23% choosing to go solo. 65% of respondents also said they would be comfortable booking group tours once they’ve been vaccinated.
Safety and hygiene to be deciding factors
The survey noted that while consumers were keen to travel post COVID, the safety and hygiene measures at hotels and resorts as well as customer reviews would be key deciding factors while choosing accommodation. 50% of respondents said they considered safety and hygiene paramount while travelling, while 45% indicated they would be more relaxed but maintain caution. 95% of consumers surveyed said they would rely on reviews while booking their stay. A majority of travellers between 18 and 30 years of age also said they are considering alternative accommodation such as villas, homestays and apartments.
Road trips and hyper local travel will remain popular
Consumers will continue to favour driveable destinations, said the survey. Over 70% of respondents voted in favour of road trips to nearby destinations or leisure hotspots within 300kms from their home city, with more than 80% opting to travel in their own personal vehicles, even after getting vaccinated.
The survey also noted that travellers will opt for hyper-local experiences at their destinations. The safety offered by a vaccination will see them stepping beyond the confines of their hotel for sightseeing (85%), and indulge in local cuisine (72%), adventure activities (70%) and sports matches, concerts and other community events (40%).
As summer arrives, 67% of travellers have their sights set on the hills, followed by 63% who wish to relax at beach resorts, such as in Goa or Pondicherry. 38% said they would get their adrenaline rush through adventure tours or by exploring national parks or sanctuaries, and 28% wished to explore heritage spots in Jaipur and Udaipur or visit popular pilgrimage sites.