ETW Staff – Mumbai
With 2013 drawing to a close and the New Year around the corner, global travel search company Skyscanner has compiled a travel trends report identifying the travel preferences and patterns of Indian travellers. Comparing flight search data for the period January to October 2013 over the corresponding period last year, the travel search site has revealed that Greece has emerged as the fastest growing outbound destination in 2013 forecasted as the ‘destination of the future’ for Indian travellers in 2014 followed by Brazil.
The neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Pakistan have also seen a steady increase in flight searches from India as compared with last year. Thus the year 2014 will see Indian tourists travelling to these new and unexplored destinations for that much needed holiday break.
The report compiled by the travel search site indicates that the U.S. has emerged as the international destination of choice for Indian families and couples. For instance, the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Washington have witnessed an increase in flight searches this year as compared with last year. In fact, the US seems to find favour amongst Indians as it has received the highest number of flight searches putting it to the top of the list of outbound searches by country from India followed by the UK. It comes as no surprise that after the U.K., short haul destinations were popular with Indian families with Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recording the highest number of flight searches from India this year.
Indian couples’ idea of a romantic setting seems to be ‘English’ weather and ‘Victorian’ architecture as after the US, the UK has emerged as the most popular couple destination followed by Thailand and the UAE with most Indian couples searching for flights to the cities of London, Bangkok and Dubai in 2013. With its glorious churches, sandy beaches and laid back lifestyle, the sunny state of Goa topped the list of most popular destinations for Indian couples within the country.
The research findings further revealed that 21st of November was the most popular day for travel in 2013 recording the highest number of searches for travel from India. In terms of quick weekend getaways, the metropolitan cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad recorded the highest number of flight searches revealing a rise in business travel. The only international destination to have recorded an increase in flight searches from India for weekend travel was the capital city of Thailand – Bangkok.
Kavitha Gnanamurthy, marketing manager, Skyscanner India, said, “The year 2013 has been quite an eventful year for travel revealing that Indians are becoming more explorative in nature by opting to holiday in destinations off the beaten track as per research compiled by our travel search site. For instance, it’s interesting to note that destinations such as Brazil, Bangladesh and Pakistan showed an increase in flight searches as compared with last year. Locally the metropolises of Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi seem to be the top weekend getaways for Indians.”
Gnanamurthy, further added, “With an array of theme parks, national parks (Grand Canyon), architectural marvels and of course ‘Disney World’, it is not hard to see why the States has emerged as the most popular holiday spot for Indian families and couples. Similarly with its numerous old Churches, miles of beaches and Portuguese influence, Goa is undoubtedly the favoured choice amongst Indian couples within the country.”