There is no place like Home: Familiarists, not Tourists
With far-flung travel off the charts for now, 57% of Indian travellers intend to travel somewhere they’ve already been previously for its familiarity
As COVID-19 continues to be a part of our lives, in our current, more restricted world, local travel will continue to be a popular choice amongst travellers. As travellers get more comfortable exploring closer to home destinations, new trends for local getaways are climbing to the top of travel agendas.
Travel like a local
With domestic travel rising as it remains easier, safer and more sustainable, as per Booking.com’s Future of Travel research findings, 49% of Indian travellers plan to explore a new destination within their home country. The survey conducted by leading digital travel platform Booking.com also reveals that 52% of Indian travellers still plan to travel within their own country in the medium term (7-12 months’ time), with 41% planning to do so in the longer term (in over a year’s time). Srinagar, Digha, Manali, Goa and Alibaug are some of the top trending Indian destinations for Indians travelling from Feb 1 to Feb 28, 2021 as compared to the same time last year.
Staycations to nearby destinations see surge
When it comes to local travel, 50% Indian travellers will take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of their home country. Whether travellers decide to stay local or not, 57% Indian travellers intend to travel somewhere they’ve already been previously for its familiarity.
Doorstep delights offer both cost and time savings for travellers, and we are likely to see destinations and accommodations respond with extra add-ons to their travel offerings such as historic and cultural heritage tours to educate and entertain visitors. New, more novel experiences such as guest chefs and bespoke cocktails could also be in the mix to help win local tourists’ affection.
The popularity of holidaying with pets
Travelling with furry companions has been top of traveller’s minds in recent months, with the use of Booking.com’s ‘pet-friendly’ filter more than doubling since travel restrictions† began. With no sign of slowing down, the trend to travel with pets is one that we are likely to see continue throughout 2021 and beyond.
A renaissance of the road trip
The desire to explore closer to home is fuelling a renaissance of road trips to rediscover forgotten local gems, a renewed passion to support local business and communities as they seek to rebuild, and inspire a newfound sense of pride in the history and beauty that’s just around the corner.
Still dreaming of far-flung travel?While local travel will continue to keep travellers occupied well into 2021, the desire to jetset to far-flung places still remains strong in the traveller psyche. Appreciation for familiarity will sit alongside an enduring love and anticipation of international travel and exotic destinations. 25% of Indian travellers intend to travel to the other side of the world by the end of 2021, compared to only 12% by the end of 2020.
Commenting on the Future of Travel study, Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager, South Asia at Booking.com said, “While it will be some time before travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, all signs point to the fundamental and enduring role that travel plays in all our lives. Looking ahead, staying closer to home and becoming familiarists rather than tourists will continue to be at the forefront of travel agendas. Rediscovering India and travelling like a local is what 2021 is going to be about. In the meantime, with our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we will be there for our customers offering the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience from anywhere and on any device so travellers can enjoy all of the unforgettable experiences this world has to offer, when it is safe to do so.”
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including 999 from USA, 496 from Canada, 497 from Mexico, 997 from Colombia, 999 from Brazil, 499 from Argentina, 995 from Australia, 499 from New Zealand, 999 from Spain, 996 from Italy, 996 from France, 999 from UK, 996 from Germany, 498 from Netherlands, 499 from Denmark, 499 from Sweden, 498 from Croatia, 1001 from Russia, 498 from Israel, 997 from India, 994 from China, 499 from Hong Kong, 497 from Thailand, 496 from Singapore, 499 from Taiwan, 997 from South Korea, 500 from Vietnam and 995 from Japan). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.