In some good news for the tourism sectors, a new study reveals that holidays are increasingly becoming a priority for Indians. India Holiday Report 2015 by Kuoni– SOTC points out that 96% of Indians think holidays are important.
The study was conducted by Nielsen with 900+ Indians across 6 cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai in the age group of 25 to 60 years to understand the mindset and behaviour of the Indian traveler towards holidays.
Speaking on the report launch, Vishal Suri, CEO – Tour Operating, Kuoni India said, “The Kuoni-SOTC Holiday Report for 2015, research for which has been conducted by Nielsen with an objective to understand and obtain insights of the Indian Leisure Traveler and their travel behaviour. At Kuoni-SOTC, it is always our endeavour to continuously offer great value to our customers and cater to their needs. The insights from this study will further help us move in this direction making holidays a priority for Indians.”
The report showcases the findings of the study under the following 3 categories:
1) HOLIDAY PLANNING AND INFLUENCERS
Holidays rated higher than clothes & electronic gadgets
International and domestic holidays are looked at as investment for an experience that no material pursuit can provide. At 15% respondents grading ‘Holidays’ over ‘Clothes and Apparel’ (13%) and ‘Electronics’ (10%) are proof that holidays are more important to them, over corporeal demands.
Chennai leads the pack with a whopping19%, followed by Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and then Mumbai. All age groups of 25-40, 40-50 and 50-60 respondents showed the same enthusiasm for holidays echoing the thought ‘age is just a number’.
96% respondents believe that holidays are important
Everyone interviewed acknowledged that they “needed a break”. With the planning entrusted upon travel planners, consideration of taking a holiday has increased manifold. While almost two out of three people consider holidays to be vital in their lives for rejuvenation and efficiency, one third consider holidays to be considerably important.
Cost effectiveness and Indian cuisine are the top reasons to prefer group holidays
The Indian traveler wants value for money spent. Another trait that sets many Indian travelers apart is their staunch preference for Indian cuisines. With group holidays meeting both these criteria, it is not surprising that such packages have many takers. 81% of respondents chose group holidays because of their ‘Cost Effectiveness’. 68% respondents choose group holidays thanks to their inclination towards home food.
• 87% of respondents in Delhi and 73% in Ahmedabad selected ‘Indian Food’ as the decisive factor for opting for group holidays.
• 89% of people in Kolkata prefer to travel with their regional community on group holidays.
Holiday experiences-gender preferences
• Women look at holidays primarily as an escape from the house-hold chores. They seek pampering and indulgence which they are not usually able to indulge in back home.
• Long relaxing spas and beauty treatments tops the list of indulgence. Women respondents enjoy spending on shopping at the local markets and buying collectibles and souvenirs.
• Playing cards and indulging in adventure sports is a rising trend among them.
• Men seek space when on a holiday. A holiday for them is fundamentally a holiday from people, networking and associating.
• Men love exploring quirky markets that are not to be found in their own city or country. The idiosyncrasy of the locale captivates a male traveler and adds to the thrill.
• Like women seek freedom from household chores, men want to free themselves from the burdens of workplace and economy. With family, some men feel uncomfortable ditching them for a bar hopping or night crawling session. Some prefer to visit places without families to avoid the guilt and discomfort if the family is not like minded.
2) HOLIDAYS FINANCE AND SHARE OF WALLET
64% respondents save money for holidays
• Most respondents plan and save for their dream vacation. By creating a holiday fund, almost 64% respondents save for their holidays.
• ‘Credit Cards’ has turned out to be the next preferred option as it gives the respondent the space to pay for the trip in installments for a small interest.
• 11% of them prefer to go post-paid instead of saving for the big trip.
• Spontaneity is a welcome feature when awarded with bonuses, about 7% the respondents lean on spending the ‘Bonus or Incentives’ on a holiday. The same percentage (7%) ‘Takes Loans’ for their holidays, because of impulse.
88% respondents prefer ‘Bank Savings’ for their holidays
• While very few find ‘Fixed Deposits’ to dictate their holiday time and budget, it comes next to ‘Bank Savings’ at 5%, following closely are ‘Recurring Deposits’ at 4%
16% of respondents’ annual income is spent on holidays
• Today’s traveler takes pleasure in treating him / herself. Amongst all the Indian respondents that were surveyed, Domestic Holidays consumed 11% of their annual income. International Holidays lag behind with 5% of annual income kept aside for such extravagances.
• With an eye on rainy days, respondents preferred spending more (11%) on holidays than on ‘Home Appliances’ (8%), ‘Electronic Gadgets’ (8%), and even on ‘Medical Expenses’ (7%)
|Holiday patterns: Delhiz Delhi is one of the cities with a high frequency of taking holidays
z 39% respondents from Delhi holiday once a year while 34% holiday once every 6 months. It is one of the cities with a high frequency of Holiday-taking.
z Delhi respondents top the list with more than 30% taking 21-30 days off in a year.
z Delhites rate ‘Savings for future & current use’ as more important than Holidays. Holidays is 3rd on the list, at par with cities like – Kolkata & Bengaluru.
z ‘Destination & Location’ plays the most important role in the holiday planning of a Delhite. It is followed by ‘Attractive Travel Packages’.
z Respondents from Delhi seek privacy and a holiday at their pace and hence 37% of them prefer Personalized packages. 26% respondents prefer Group packages because of Cost & Availability of Indian food.
z Work Commitments, Budget constraints &wedding / other functions are top reasons to cancel a Holiday amongst respondents from Delhi.
3) LEAVES, DURATION, HOLIDAY FREQUENCY AND CANCELLATION
83% respondents take upto 20 days of leave annually
A holiday is no longer a frivolous indulgence; it has become a priority.
The highest number of respondents at 44% took 11 to 20 days of leave per year
80% respondents holiday at least once a year
A holiday is a reward one gives oneself after having worked really hard during the year.
• Four out of five respondents took a vacation at least ‘Once a year’
• 17% of respondents take a holiday at least ‘Once in Six Months’ out of which a small but certain lot of 6%respondents are serious about holidaying or choose to holiday at least ‘Once every 3 months’.
Health, work & budget; top reasons for cancelling holidays
• ‘Personal Health Conditions’ have been the cause for cancelled holidays for 66% of the respondents.
• ‘Work Commitments’ have played the role of villain for 63% of the respondents.
• 62% of respondents held ‘Budget Constraints’ responsible for their holidays being cancelled.
And lastly, the report ends with vacationers being divided into four distinct groups i.e. value seeker, adventure enthusiast, culture venturer and the Pro based on their holiday traits.
Musafir Namah Bureau