60% customers want to travel to UAE: Thomas Cook India & SOTC survey

The survey revealed insightful customer data, behaviour and travel trends with UAE

Thomas Cook India and its group company SOTC Travel Ltd. have jointly surveyed over 2500 customers across India’s key metros like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and mini-metros like Pune and Tier 2 & 3 source markets, including Jaipur, Lucknow, Madurai, Kochi, Indore, Cuttack, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Surat. The survey reveals insightful customer data, behaviour and travel trends with UAE (Dubai-Abu Dhabi) and Expo 2020 Dubai emerging as a clear driver of international demand for Q4 2021. With 85 per cent of respondents are keen to travel, 77 per cent is International and 61 per cent is domestic. Over 60 per cent indicate clear intent to visit UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai topping the leader board of favourites; also cricket fixtures of IPL & T20.

With the reopening of borders, vaccine acceptance/easing of restrictions, Indians are displaying a strong travel appetite for UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi). Expo 2020 Dubai, started October 1, 2021, and continuing up to March 31, 2022, has created a significant opportunity - with over 47 per cent of respondents indicating keen interest to visit the event at least once this year.

Demand for Expo 2020 Dubai extends across a range of segments among, business travellers (MNCs, India corporate houses, SMEs) & Trade Associations are 15 per cent, MICE travellers are 25 per cent, leisure travellers (Families/ Extended families, Couples, Millennials, Seniors) are 45 per cent and education is 15 per cent. 47 per cent of respondents are likely to visit Expo 2020 at least once between October – December 2021. 57 per cent of respondents indicated they would visit the Expo more than once (October 2021 – March 2022). The average duration of stay ranges from four to seven nights. Willingness to spend for a trip of four nights is approximate, Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 250,000 per person for luxury products.

“Our survey highlights strong travel demand for the last quarter of 2021, with 60 per cent of customers indicating UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai as their top preference; followed by the cricket fixtures of IPL/T20. The survey further reveals strong appeal across a range of traveller segments – from India’s millennials, families, students, and business to our MICE corporate and across India’s metros as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 source markets. For industry associations and businesses, Expo 2020 Dubai offers an invaluable platform for ideation, R&D, business and networking. MICE being a strong segment driver, we have designed unique programmes – tailor-made and co-curated based on the interests of specific corporates across Insurance, Automobile, Pharma, E-Commerce, startups & Trade Associations. We are also seeing interest in gala dinners and events at the Expo site itself. In addition to Expo 2020, the exciting cricket fixtures of the T20 World Cup & IPL, have allowed us to combine the two opportunities with a compelling product for the Indian market,” said Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited.  

“As per our survey, there is an encouraging travel desire and confidence amongst customers pan-India. The survey reveals positive interest for families to witness this once-in-a-lifetime global mega-event. Expo 2020 Dubai, length of stay trends highlight, customers are looking at longer stay compared to short trips in the past. Over 57 per cent of respondents said they would visit the Expo again along with an increased willingness to spend. With significant interest for four to seven night stays, we have curated attractive five and six nights Expo itineraries with Single Day/ Multi-Day Tickets included along with a Guided Tour of Expo on some itineraries. Our offers also include experiences like Sundowner Yacht Cruise, Ain Dubai, Pink Limousine Rides, Dubai Museum, Bridge & Heritage tour of the QE II amongst others and Luxury experiences like, hi-tea at the Burj Khalifa, desert camping and a VIP Desert Safari with a Private Butler are also part of our offers. To reassure customers, our products are inbuilt with TravShield - comprehensive Safety Commitment & Assured Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics,” said Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, SOTC Travel.

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