Following a long wait of 18 months, outbound leisure travellers are now eagerly looking to fly overseas as countries begin easing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Indian nationals. With optimism and confidence gradually building up around international travel, more than 85% of Indian travellers are keen on flying to one or more international leisure travel hotspots in the near future. The sentiment seems to be soaring high amongst all age groups – with 87% of the surveyed between 30-35 years showing more enthusiasm to travel internationally before the year ends, indicates a recent survey conducted by MakeMyTrip.
Conducted from 15th August to 15th September 2021, the survey underscores a shift in travel sentiment with more than 65% of travellers actively searching for flights and hotels in some of the most preferred international leisure destinations. Dubai (36%), Maldives (33%) and Switzerland (22%) are the top three destinations that are high on the consideration list of leisure travellers currently. Whereas, amongst the list of countries that are yet to open travel for Indians – Thailand, USA and UK rank high in preference. Overall, amongst the surveyed, 43% travellers are keen on unwinding in the idyllic beaches of Thailand and Bali; 39% wish to go island hopping in Maldives and Mauritius; 37% hope to indulge in soul-satisfying Mediterranean experiences in Turkey, Greece, Italy and Egypt; 33% are eager to explore the contemporary and architectural marvels in Paris and London, and 25% are dreaming of scintillating Switzerland.
As cross-border travel restrictions ease across some countries, travellers are weighing multiple parameters when searching and planning travel. 54% of the surveyed indicated that travel regulations including quarantine guidelines were one of the key reasons for shortlisting a destination. Others parameters that emerged from the survey include travelling to the destination fits into the budget (33%), number of active COVID caseloads (13%) among others.
Commenting on international leisure travel making a slow but much-awaited comeback, Vipul Prakash, Chief Operating Officer of MakeMyTrip shares “There has been a huge pent-up demand for international leisure travel and the survey rightly underscores that revenge travel will soon become a trend for international travel as well. On MakeMyTrip, recent flight and hotel searches to the destinations open for Indian travellers indicates strong demand as the festive and winter holiday season approaches.”
According to the latest flight searches and bookings on MakeMyTrip, travellers are increasingly becoming comfortable with booking travel 30 to 60 days ahead of the date of travel. Advance bookings on international travel currently account for 40% of the overall international flights business on the platform. Given that international travel guidelines continue to evolve for Indian travellers, recently, MakeMyTrip rolled out a new Destination Advisor feature to help outbound travellers search between multiple destinations that suit their needs based on popularity, price and duration of the flight, safety regulations, and visa requirements among others.