The travel for international destination has doubled to 20 Million people in 2015. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Registrar General of India, there is 218% growth in foreign travels per 1000 people in India. Indians Traveling International Destinations are from the region of Maharashtra and Gujarat tops the list of foreign travels. Delhi and Kolkatta come third and fourth.
If you look at any data from any tour operators, you will see Maharashtra and Delhi are the top two destinations for Indian traveling abroad. These figures are not correct. The reason is the better connectivity between these two airports. All major destinations have direct flights from these airports. A person from Gujarat and Punjab prefers to take flights from these airports respectively. The other reason is timing. You will get a lot of time options for your flights. That is not the case with smaller airports or B category airport. The flights are mostly red-eye flights and are commonly budget airlines.
Hence, the benefit of `data’ goes to these airports.
I had traveled to Chennai to take a flight for Thailand. Reason was simple, cheap tickets. Punjab only goes to Delhi for all the International flights. The Chandigarh Airport never had direct flights to international destination, until now. Not only that still there are fewer direct flights for national travel.
However, after opening of the newer airport at Mohali (Punjab), there are direct flights to Dubai now. Slowly they will have direct flights to Australia, Thailand etc. Therefore, Delhi dependence will reduce and we will have data that are more accurate. This will happen to all other locations as well.
Indians traveling international destinations, Gujarati are the number one travelers. They make almost 40% of foreign travels followed by Maharashtra, New Delhi and Kolkatta. Punjab (66%) and Telangana women is number one Solo Traveling domestically, according to National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO). These solo travelers are also ready to travel abroad as well.
The TripAdvisor reports that 48% women is Southeast Asia have traveled alone in 2015. I have covered more on solo traveling here.
Indians Regional Booking Behavior
There are not much stats available with me. But here a run down of the places I have lived and there booking behaviors. The south specifically Bangalore and Chennai are the two places where maximum people book online. Maharashtra and Gujarat is a mix bag. Serial flyers still hook up with agents. The new generation here have started booking or look for information online and then book it through their agents. The north especially Punjab and Delhi still book 80% of their tours through agents. They still need a face to book there tickets and tours.
The online travel booking has grown multifold, travel agents are still in fashion. The simple reason is the people still want direct experience with the product. The debate can be big; I am touching few aspects of both sides.
The online industry provides a great atmosphere for product showcase. There are pictures, videos etc. to drive a customer to buy. On the other hand, a powerful agent will sell you through his experience and relationship with you.
You do get a lot of information online. People do get lazy to find them. Travel agent, on the other hand, saves your time and says what you want to here.
An agent is one source of information. Online, on the other hand, will provide you full 360-degree information. You also get to read experience of other travelers for the same journey.
In India local travel are still booked online. International travels due to fear factor or less knowledge people still go to an agent. Getting visa is still an agent’s job. If you buy a package, visa is part of the deal. If you just want the visa, agents show less or no interest.
Any transaction that is big in India, wants a `person concern’ to acknowledge that the money is paid. Paying online a sum of even two lakhs, people are not comfortable.
I being from sales, I always had conflict with the marketing team, ‘Products don’t sell on shelves, they need to be sold.’ Will it happen the other way round, only the voice from the counter will tell J!