Booking.com reveals that the average distance Indians travelled from June to August 2020 is down by 56% year-over-year
Indians travellers ride on the trend of domestic travel amidst the ‘new normal’
- In 2019 (1st June to 31st August), Indian travellers journeyed on average 1,786 kilometres per booking. This year, that distance has dropped to just 780 kilometres per booking (1)
- The average distance Indians travelled from June to August 2020 is down by 56% year-over-year (1)
- Domestic travel is the new normal. 67% of the total distance travelled by Indians between 1st June and 31st August 2020 was within the country, compared to only 34% during the same period of 2019 (2)
- New Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Hyderabad featured as the top most booked destinations between June - August 2020 by Indian travellers (3)
- Motels, villas and hotels are the top 3 trending accommodation types for Indian travellers (4)
Travel may not be the same during these unprecedented times, but data from Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel players reveals that the happiness travel can bring isn’t measured in kilometres. Travel plans may have changed drastically in 2020, and travellers may not be able to take that distant trip they had previously hoped for, but this has given travellers the opportunity to discover - and in many instances rediscover - heaps of wonderful experiences closer to home.
Delving into the travel patterns of Indians in the last few months, Booking.com calculated that the average distance Indians travelled between June and August 2020 is down 56% compared with the same time last year, which is slightly lower than the global average of 63% (1). When looking back at the same time last year, Indian travellers journeyed on average 1,786 km per booking. In 2020, that distance has dropped to just 780 km per booking (1).
Happiness isn't measured in kilometres
More than half (67%) of the total distance travelled by Indians between 1 June and 31 August 2020 was within the country, compared to only 34% during the same period of 2019(2). New Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Hyderabad featured as the top most booked destinations between June - August 2020 by Indian travellers (3).
Top booked domestic destinations by Indian travellers (1 June - 31 August 2020)
1. New Delhi
Accommodations rediscovered - From Motels to Homestays
When it comes to accommodation choice, Indian travellers were more likely to have opted for a motel than they were last year, followed by villa, hotel, lodge and homestay (4) which all topped the rankings of trending accommodation types for Indian travellers. This rise in pitching tents shows the shift in travel types we’ve seen. When looking back at the end of 2019, before we knew that our 2020 travel plans would be clouded by a global pandemic, only 28% of Indians were intending to stay at a villa, 16% in motels and 63% were anticipating staying in traditional hotels (5).
The unexpected route to our travel plans
While the events of the year have led to seismic shifts in travel behaviors and destination choices, travel has still found a way to satisfy many travellers’ wanderlust. At the end of 2019, 51% of Indians were dreaming of beautiful beaches and 42% of bustling city trips (5). 40% even dreamt of traveling to visit family and friends before they knew their contact with them would have been limited this year (5).
Many of those travel desires would typically have been met with far flung destinations, but this year many have discovered these simple pleasures next door. So, whether it is exploring the pink city of Jaipur or soaking in the Nawabi culture of Hyderabad, the travel desires of many Indians have still been explored in 2020, just a little closer to home.
Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com, said: “During these unprecedented times it's reassuring to see that while our plans and priorities may have changed, our passion for travel has not. Whether it’s the memories captured, relationships strengthened or smiles made, the summer of 2020 proved that the happiness travel can bring is not simply measured in kilometres and that there are plenty of adventures to be explored and comfort to be found right next door. With our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we offer the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience so travellers can get out and enjoy all kinds of travel experiences, whenever it’s safe to do so and whether that’s near or far.”
- Average distance was calculated by taking the distance between a booker’s estimated location based on IP and the destination as a straight line. Year on year changes were calculated by looking at bookings by Indian travellers between 1 June and 31 August 2020, compared to the same months in 2019.
- Share of the total distance travelled by Indian travellers based on the combined absolute distance between their cities of origin and destinations of all trips
- Based on top booked destinations 1 June through 31 August 2020 (domestic)
- Top trending accommodation types booked by Indian travellers on Booking.com between 1 June and 31 August 2020 and the same months in 2019. Based on both international and domestic travel.
- Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 50,688 respondents across 29 markets, including 1,997 from India. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in November 2019.