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Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel jointly release Survey Report - measures customer preferences for Holiday Travel post COVID-19

75% ranked health & safety as their #1 concern; 72% opting for reputed brands.

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company, along with its Group company SOTC Travel Ltd. surveyed over 2500 consumers across India’s metros and Tier 1 & 2 cities (including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jamnagar, Surat, Vizag, Indore, Jaipur, etc.), covering 4 age groups: below 30 years, 31-44 years, 45-59 years and 60 years and above; 76% being in the 28-55 age segment. The Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19 reflects key consumer behaviors and trends. Key findings include:

Travel is set to rebound - Indians will continue to Travel: 14% respondents indicated that they are likely to travel in 2020 once restrictions are lifted. While 45% respondents plan to defer their holiday to 2021, 41% are undecided. The festive seasons were preferred in 2020: either November (29%) or December (50%).

Key Travel Drivers: 72% respondents preferred reputed brands across their journey - including tour operators, hotel chains, etc. Health & Safety ranks as the primary concern for 75% respondents; with 35% willing to increase their spends to ensure the same.

Domestic Tourism is set to take centre stage:A domestic holiday was the first choice of 64% respondents. Destinations selected were Ladakh (20%), Goa (17%), North East (15%), Kerala (11%); Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir followed closely; Bhutan (17%) in the Indian sub-continent. Destinations at a driveable distance were also preferred, including: Coorg, Ooty, Mussoorie, Shimla, Amritsar, Munnar, etc.

36% respondents showed preference for an international holiday. Short haul destinations (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi) saw strong interest (41%). Long-haul destinations that traditionally witness demand in Q4 also featured, like Australia & New Zealand (20%); USA (16%). What is noteworthy is the significant demand for Europe at 38%; favoured destinations included Switzerland, France, Germany, UK, Czech Republic.

Size of Group: Respondents displayed a noticeable preference towards travelling in smaller groups- primarily due health/hygiene. 63% respondents were inclined to travel solo, with their immediate/extended family or friends/colleagues; 25% respondents preferred to travel in small groups of below 20 co-travellers and 12% opted for a group size of approximately 35+.

Holiday Duration: 86% respondents chose a holiday duration between 4-11 days (51% preferring 4-7 days, 35% preferring 8-11 days); 14% opted for a holiday of over 12 days.

Shift in Holiday Spending Patterns - Value-centric/Pocket Friendly Holidays: 67% of respondents stated that they would spend less than Rs. 1 lakh per person on their next holiday, while 11% said that they would spend up to Rs. 2 lakhs per person.

Booking Channels: Consumers continued to express interest in a personal touch/reassurance to their travel booking experience- with 58% opting to purchase holidays through retail outlets or home service (38% retail and 20% home visits). This was followed by 40% opting for online channels (Website/App) and 12% stating preference for video chat.

(Respondents were given a few questions with multiple options, hence percentages may not add up to 100%)

(We got this information from a press release.)