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Skyscanner Travel Report: Data reveals what made Indian travellers tick in 2023

Skyscanner unveils the most budget-friendly flight, hotel stay, and car rental destinations from India for 2023.

  • The top holiday destinations for Indian travelers include New Delhi, Dubai, and Bangkok.
  • March emerges as the most favored month for travel among Indian travellers in 2023.
  • Skyscanner has introduced several enhancements in 2023, including an AI-inspired tool, new languages, and accessibility improvements.
  • The much-loved ‘Cheapest Month’ feature makes a return with new functionalities.
  • Skyscanner introduces a true total cost display to assist global travellers in finding their ideal flight, hotel, and car rental options.
Top spots for Indian travellers in 2023

Skyscanner, the global travel marketplace, looks back on a year of assisting a record number of travelers in exploring the world and provides a summary of India’s travel trends in 2023. Here are the top destinations for Indian travelers in 2023.

In 2023, Dubai secures its position as the most sought-after international destination. Renowned for its contemporary opulence and top-tier attractions, including artificial islands, mega malls, and towering skyscrapers, Indian travellers were drawn to the gleaming city throughout the year.

Following closely, Bangkok emerges as the second most popular international destination for Indian travellers. From relishing street food delights in lively markets to exploring intricate temples like Wat Pho and immersing themselves in the vibrant nightlife along Khao San Road, the city’s dynamic energy and cultural richness captured the hearts of Indian travellers in 2023.

Cheapest flights, hotels & car hire of 2023 revealed

In 2023, a growing number of Indian travellers are choosing alternative and budget-friendly cities within India that offer rich cultural experiences and diverse cuisine. Skyscanner data highlights Jagdalpur in India as the most economical flight destination, with an average return flight cost of just ₹3,035.

Skyscanner’s infographic also reveals the most cost-effective destination to book each month for Indian travellers throughout 2023. Additionally, the data identifies the cheapest three-star hotel stay and the most budget-friendly city for car rentals in 2023:

  • Cheapest Three-Star Hotel Stay: After analyzing prices across numerous global destinations, Nha Trang in Vietnam emerges as the most economical city for a three-star hotel stay for Indian travelers. Known for its picturesque coastal beauty and cultural richness, Nha Trang offers affordability combined with a delightful stay enriched by Vietnam’s diverse experiences.
  • Cheapest Car Hire Destination: Doha in Qatar claims the top spot as the city offering the most affordable car hire, with Indian travelers paying only ₹2,198 per day on average. Doha serves as an excellent starting point for a road trip adventure, allowing travelers to explore the city’s modern marvels, visit iconic cultural sites, and venture into the scenic desert landscapes.
Insights from Skyscanner’s Travel Trends and Destination Expert:

Reflecting on the year of travel, Skyscanner’s Travel Trends and Destination Expert, Mohit Joshi, notes how Indians have enthusiastically embraced global exploration despite tightened budgets. This traveler behaviour aligns with emerging trends revealed in the recent Travel Trends 2024 report. The report emphasises that the value of experiences and cultural exploration will become key considerations, with price no longer being the sole factor influencing decision-making for Indian travellers.

Joshi anticipates this momentum to continue growing in the coming year. The 2024 report indicates that 86% of Indian travellers plan to take the same number, if not more, trips abroad in 2024 compared to 2023. Additionally, Nice in France is predicted to be a great-value destination for Indian travellers in 2024, with airfares having dropped by over a third in the past 12 months.

In 2024, Skyscanner foresees Indian travellers heading abroad to attend live performances of their favourite artists. A third of fans express their willingness to travel to short-haul destinations for live performances, while 20% are open to flying long-haul for the same purpose.

Skyscanner’s Role in Supporting Global Travel in 2023:

Skyscanner has played a pivotal role in assisting over 100 million users every month from around the world in finding their perfect flights, hotel stays, and car rentals in 2023. The platform has continued to innovate and evolve, making planning and booking the next trip as simple and budget-friendly as possible. Chief Product Officer, Piero Sierra, provides a glimpse into the launched features and ongoing global experiments aimed at turning travellers’ bucket lists into reality.

Evolving Skyscanner’s Offerings for Travellers:
  • Testing a ‘Dream & discover with AI’ tool in selected markets, leveraging AI to help travellers discover new places and experiences by asking a simple question about their desired trip.
  • Implemented accessibility improvements to the colour palette and optimised screen reader experience on the site and app. New staff experienced an Empathy Lab and received extensive training with best practices integrated into the product development process.
  • Witnessed a significant increase in global travellers selecting low-emissions car hire rentals, contributing to the journey toward reaching net zero. Published a Climate Action Plan in June to outline environmental initiatives.
  • Launched Skyscanner’s ChatGPT plug-in and partnered with travel influencers and platforms like Jacks Flight Club, Beautiful Destinations, Guide Geek, FareFirst, Petit Fute, Curly Tales, and The Travel Mum. Expanded presence to Samsung smart fridges and freezers.
Simple Solutions to Holiday Planning:
  • Evolving Everywhere search to allow travellers to narrow down their search based on the trip’s vibe, such as great beaches or exciting food scenes.
  • Introduced a feature allowing travellers to save their searched flights on the mobile site and receive Price Alerts for fare changes.
  • Expanded language support to 32 languages, including additions like Hindi and Hebrew in 2023.
  • Upcoming feature (launching in Canada and Mexico, with plans for APAC markets in 2024) includes displaying baggage allowances, weights, and costs in flight prices, providing more visibility of the true total cost.
  • Experimenting with alternative options on the results page for flexible travellers, showing if a direct flight is available on an alternative day.
  • Enhanced traveler ratings and reviews, incorporating Expedia and TripAdvisor reviews in hotel results and simplifying airline and online travel agent ratings with emojis on the mobile site.
Ensuring the Best Price for Travellers:
  • Revived the Cheapest Month tool to help users identify the most economical time to visit a destination.
  • Implemented traffic light colour-coding to make it easier for users to spot the cheapest flight price within the search panel.
  • Built an extensive library of FAQs for various destinations, providing travelers with insights like the cheapest time to fly or the average cost of a four-star hotel or car rental.

These advancements showcase Skyscanner’s commitment to enhancing user experiences, offering budget-friendly solutions, and staying at the forefront of travel technology.

Infographic - Skyscanner’s Year in Travel 2023