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Indian travellers now increasingly willing to pay a premium for enriching experiences: TravClan Report

TravClan, a global B2B Travel Tech Platform, unveiled a comprehensive report encapsulating the evolving trends and preferences among Indian travellers. The report offers insight and breaks the general perception of India as a price-sensitive market. Indian travellers, traditionally known for their cost-conscious approach, are now increasingly willing to pay a premium for enriching experiences. This shift is reflected in the fact that 50% of hotel bookings were made for branded chains and flight bookings surged despite a 30% rise in flight prices. Quality experiences and comfort are now as important as affordability in the minds of the Indian traveller.

Derived from a detailed study of over 200,000 travel bookings on TravClan’s platform during the first half of 2023, the report offers invaluable insights into the burgeoning domestic and international travel market of India. Air travel continues to be a top choice for Indian travellers, with over 400,000 passengers flying daily. Additionally, group travel has experienced an impressive 30% increase this year. While price remains important, factors such as on-time travel and comfort have gained prominence among new-age audiences and premium travellers. This emphasis on quality services and brand reputation is reshaping the airline industry. A growing preference for booking exclusive properties, like entire villas, for a personalized and comfortable holiday experience has also been observed, underscoring the shift towards experiential travel.

Interestingly, even the booking patterns have shifted as 60% of international travellers are booking travellers flights well in advance while only 15% of domestic travellers do the same, signifying the rise in spontaneous trips. The report also highlights how travellers are not merely exploring well-trodden paths but are actively seeking out lesser-known destinations. Customers are getting travel inspiration from various sources such as social media, recommendations from friends or colleagues, and marketing promotions from brands.

Over 50% of travellers are now seeking and inquiring about offbeat locations, aligning with the growing trend of experiential travel. Recognizing these evolving motivations, TravClan is empowering travel agents with B2C marketing tools, including posters and materials, to help them reach their customers and convert more bookings.

Speaking on this, Arun Bagaria, Co-founder & CEO, TravClan, said, “With a surge in domestic travel and a steady recovery in international travel, travellers are prioritizing quality experiences and seeking quality and comfort alongside affordability. At TravClan, we embrace this transformative phase, empowering travel agents to deliver seamless travel experiences and create lasting memories for valued customers.”

Further, digital transformation has marked a significant shift in how the industry operates. Over 30% of travel agents at TravClan, now have their own fully-equipped websites, showcasing customer testimonials, video tours, daily news, and blogs. Extensive research by travelers has resulted in longer booking times, as individuals seek expert advice and recommendations before embarking on their journeys. To meet this demand, travel agents are dedicating significant time to destination and platform learning.

Chirag Agrawal, Co-founder of TravClan added, “Government initiatives like UDAN and Dekho Apna Desh have greatly boosted domestic tourism. Improved air connectivity, spontaneous trip planning, and regional travel trends all point towards an optimistic future for the Indian travel industry. These trends offer immense opportunities for travel agents and the industry as a whole.”

Other key insights include:

Domestic air connectivity encourages travellers to cover longer distances for short vacations to locations such as Kerala and Kashmir.

Corporate clients are increasingly booking stays at branded hotels for retreats and off-site meetings.

Destinations like Himachal Pradesh and Kerala account for nearly 25% of all domestic tourism on the TravClan platform.

Experiential travel trends have boosted the utilization of local travel agents who offer personalized experiences.

Travellers are investing more time in researching destinations before booking, increasing the time to book by up to 20%.

Travel agents are focusing more on learning and upskilling, with an average agent dedicating about 20-30% of their time to learning about new destinations.

Travel package bookings have risen, indicating travellers’ preference for well planned experiences along with completely planned itinerary.

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