From Cancelling a honeymoon to risking their job Booking.com unveils Indian sports fans’ optimism and dedication to travel
42% of Indian cricket fans are happy to cancel their honeymoon if it clashes with their team playing a big game: Booking.com Study
Booking.com, the official Accommodation and Attractions Booking Partner of UEFA EURO 2020™, reveals how optimistic Indian sports fans are, and how sports influences their travel behaviour. Working with football legend and UEFA EURO 2008™ champion David Villa as the brand’s latest ambassador, Booking.com also shares unique insights into what the fans’ dedication and never-ending optimism means when competing on the big stage.
Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com, said: “With major international cricket and athletics tournaments coming up in Asia in 2020 and the excitement of the UEFA EURO 2020™, next year will definitely be an unforgettable year for sports. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we want to ensure that one gets the most out of their trip by helping them find their perfect accommodation, no matter what the occasion. With this partnership with UEFA, we’re excited to help bring fans the best experience with booking their ideal accommodation as well as great things to do in each host city.”
UEFA EURO 2008 Champion and Booking.com Global Ambassador, David Villa, explains: “Our fans’ support during the UEFA EURO 2008™ Final was indescribable and their unshakable optimism definitely carried our team to victory that year. And knowing that your fans will support you through thick and thin and that they are willing to dedicate time and money to travel to watch us play in some of the best stadiums in the world is truly inspiring. It is what motivates you to always give your best - on and off the pitch.”
Indian sports fans look ahead to 2020 with great expectations
- 44% of Indian sports fans agree they will see their national team or player win an international tournament within the next year, vs. the global average of 34%
- Cricket fans are the most optimistic, followed by football fans when asked when do they think their team/player will win a major international tournament.
- 88% cricket fans believed that they will see their team/player win a major international tournament in the next 4 years, while 79% football fans shared the sentiment
Dedicated fans will cancel anything to ensure they can travel to watch their team
- A combination of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and dedication to traveling and showing their support in the stadium results in unwavering commitment.
- 42% of Indian sports fans (highest globally) say that they would cancel their honeymoon if it clashed with their team/athlete playing a big game, vs. the global average of 19%.
- Similarly, 41% of Indian sports fans say that they would rather lose their job than not be able to attend a historic sporting final/event, vs. the global average of 18%.
Travel planning for the big match
Traveling to see their team live in action is a clear priority for many Indian sports fans.
- 82% of Indian sports fans have completed between one to five trips in the last year alone – with six in ten declaring they plan to travel both domestically and internationally to watch their team or player in the future (60%).
- Once they know which games they will be traveling to, fans start looking for the perfect place to stay. Top considerations for Indian sports fans when looking for the perfect place to stay are affordability (82%) and location (80%) in relation to the stadium or venue. Two thirds look for accommodations that have a spa or hot tub to relax in post-match (67%).
- Yet, despite affordability being important for the Indian sports fans, 37% of Indian sports fans happily admit that they would be willing to pay more for sports travel than their family vacation.
- When taking a stock globally, Cricket fans (38%), swimming fans (38%) and e-sports fans (38%) are most likely to spend more on their travel to watch their respective sports.
- Top Indian sports fans travel for Cricket (86%), Football/soccer (51%), Tennis (31%), Hockey (23%) and Motorsports (18%).
Showing support on match day
- 33% (vs. the global average of 28%) of Indian sports fans wear lucky charms when attending a game – with 29% (vs. the global average of 15%) having a superstitious routine that they always perform before or during a game to ensure their team wins
- Aside from having rituals, 66% of Indian sports fans (vs. the global average of 79%) say they would never leave a match early, regardless of whether they thought their team was going to lose.
- 36% (vs. the global average of 42%) stay out of respect for the team or players, whereas 54% (vs. the global average of 35%) stay because they will not give up hope that their team or player can still come back and turn the game around.
When comparing enthusiasm of Indian cricket fans with Indian football fans:
Would cancel their honeymoon if it clashed with their team/athlete playing a big game
They would rather lose their job than not be able to attend a historical sporting event
They’d spend more on travelling for sports than on family vacations
Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample size of 22,603 sports fans (with a skew towards football fans in panel recruitment) aged 18 or over in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th August and 2nd September 2019.