Two months ago, Kuoni India was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings, whose founder, chairman and CEO, the billionaire Prem Watsa, has become a singular force in the nation’s tour and travel industry; his company already owned Thomas Cook’s India operations before the Kuoni acquisition. Then, just last week, in a move that is reflection of the latter’s higher profile in India as well as Asia, Kuoni SOTC—it is the tour operator’s main outbound brand—released a first-ever comprehensive survey of the Indian travelers: the India Holiday Report 2015. The study was conducted by Nielsen with 900+ Indians across 6 cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai in the age group of 25 to 60 years to understand the mindset and behavior of the Indian traveler towards holidays. Its results are full of info bytes useful to anyone researching the Indian market, which is now the ninth largest overseas source market for inbound tourism to the USA. Here, we’ve formatted some of the survey’s finding for quick reference.
|Category||Percentage of Survey Respondents|
|Indians believe that holidays are important||90%|
|Respondents rate holidays higher than clothes and electronic gadgets||15%|
|Respondents who chose group holiday, chose it because of their 'cost effectiveness'||81%|
|Respondents who chose group holiday, chose it because of their inclination towards home food||68%|
|respondents who take up to 20 days of leave annually||83%|
|Those who cite personal health conditions as main reason for canceling holiday travel||66%|
|Those who cite work commitments as a reason for canceling holiday travel||63%|
|Percentage of those who save money for holiday||64%|
|Prefer to go post-paid, instead of saving for the big trip.||11%|
|Rely on spending the Bonus or Incentives on a holiday||7%|
|Takes loans for their holidays, because of impulse||7%|
|Percentage of annual income consumed by domestic holiday||11%|
|Percentage of annual income consumer by international holiday||5%|
|Use bank savings to pay for holidays||5%|
|Use recurring deposits to pay for holidays||4%|
|Take 11 to 20 days of leave per year||44%|
|Take a holiday at least once a year||80%|
|Take a holiday at least once in six months||17%|
|Take a holiday at least once every three months||6%|
Gender Differences—For Women, at Holidays is an Escape from Household Chores and for Men, It’s Seeking Space:
—Women look at holidays primarily as an escape from the household chores. They seek pampering and indulgence which they are not usually able to indulge in back home.
—Long relaxing spas and beauty treatments tops the list of indulgence. Women respondents enjoy spending on shopping at the local markets and buying collectibles and souvenirs.
—Playing cards and indulging in adventure sports is a rising trend among them.
—Men seek space when on a holiday. A holiday for them is fundamentally a holiday from people, networking and associating.
—Men love exploring quirky markets that are not to be found in their own city or country. The idiosyncrasy of the locale captivates a male traveler and adds to the thrill.
—Like women seek freedom from household chores, men want to free themselves from the burdens of workplace and economy. With family, some men feel uncomfortable ditching them for a bar hopping or night crawling session. Some prefer to visit places without families to avoid the guilt and discomfort if the family is not like minded.