India's economic growth has resulted in the growth of a segment of people who love to travel, possess high spending power and are looking for more and varied options in travel destinations. Tracking the behaviour of this segment, SPAG Asia has brought out MustWander, India's Outbound Travel Report. The report records the trends and the factors contributing to global and domestic travel, with focus on India.
Shivani Gupta, managing director, SPAG Strategic Partners Group, says, "Indians have emerged as one of the largest groups both in terms of volume as well as overall value of spend in the outbound travel sector. It is a well known fact that the outbound travel industry in India is booming, and it is required for both the consumers and travel agents to have insights about the industry."
The report gives an insight into the individuals who are fuelling this travel growth, which would help travel sector marketers.
Some of the findings that the report threw up were: 67 per cent of people travelling abroad are from the western part of the country, primarily Gujarat and Maharashtra. Among all the international destinations, Singapore emerged as the favourite of Indian travellers.
With spending power, new travel groups are also emerging, including solo travellers, women groups, senior citizens and young travellers. People like to explore destinations that offer safety and security, world-class beauty and natural environments, value for money, romantic destinations and family-friendly destinations.
The report also emphasises the role of social media in influencing or knowing the Indian travellers. Understanding the power of the medium, marketers in the sector are placing the platform as a major marketing channel, above other channels such as consumer reviews, mobile and pay per click advertising. Smartphone usage, especially for bookings and browsing, has also given industry players an added opportunity.
While over half of Indian travellers share their photos on social networks, 54 per cent email/text photos to family and friends. Around 34 per cent of travellers share their experience, photos or videos online, a trend led by South Korea (39 per cent). Indians also love to shop during vacation (76 per cent), and are the second highest percentage of tourists visiting a new place. Indians are ranked third (51 per cent) for enjoying nightlife/dancing. Tourists from Brazil (64 per cent) and Mexico (57 per cent) lead this list.
And, the top five activities Indians love to do when at the beach are walking (85 per cent), swimming (67 per cent), running/jogging (65 per cent), people-watching (62 per cent) and sunbathing (53 per cent).