Indians are “optimistic with a dash of caution” about their plans for 2021: Amex Trendex

Survey spotlights young adults’ holiday season shopping plans, fitness focus and dreams of travel.

According to the Amex Trendex, a trend report from American Express, Indian consumers are mapping out their holiday season shopping plans, prioritizing their wellbeing with more time at home, and hoping to turn travel dreams into a 2021 reality.

Sharing more about this initiative, Manoj Adlakha, CEO & SVP, American Express Banking Corp., said, “Understanding what matters to our customers will help us meaningfully deliver to their expectations. As we enter the festive season in a year that has been overshadowed by the global pandemic, the Trendex survey has put the spotlight on our silver linings - family and friendships, focus on wellness and fitness, and a deep desire to travel and explore the world again. Optimism, hope and action emerge as key themes from this survey.”


With many seeking out normalcy in a not-so-normal year, 44 per cent of respondents agree that they think of giving/getting gifts and celebrating to reconnect with life before the pandemic. 25 per cent respondents in India plan on spending more on holiday season gifts this year, compared to last year. 65 per cent are more likely to shop online than in-store this year but they want to continue supporting small businesses. Close to 50 per cent of Indian adults say that they are much more likely to shop at small businesses this holiday season, compared to previous years.

What’s on people’s gift giving and wish lists? Consumers are very interested in receiving experiences. When it comes to giving, 46 per cent said they are more likely to give touchless gifts like a subscription or e-gift card this year.


At-home digital fitness is most popular in India, where 54 per cent of adults surveyed have purchased a subscription to a digital fitness program in the last six months. For Indian adults eating healthier and exercising more frequently are top personal wellness priorities.

50 per cent say they are more likely to care about fitness moving forward, and agreed they have an increased appreciation for it. Some are exploring new or different wellness habits and hobbies, with 47 per cent agreeing that they found a new fitness hobby to stay healthy in the past six months while social distancing.

India also ranked highest in respondents identifying their family/friends contributing to their overall wellness (91 per cent). Globally, 81 per cent adults agreed spending quality time with friends and family contributes positively to their wellness.


Indians emerge as avid holiday travellers with one in three respondents reporting that they travelled for major holidays last year but will not do so this year. Across the world, respondents are largely still wary of travel, saying they would not feel comfortable traveling until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available. 34 per cent of Indians echo this sentiment.

Travel plans continue to take centerstage in future planning, with 32 per cent Indians already dreaming about their next holiday. 1 in 2 (50 per cent) Indian adults are interested in receiving a trip in 2021 as a gift this holiday season. Not surprisingly, they also marked a strong preference and were willing to pay extra for lodging and hotels that offered private and/or socially distanced amenities, eg: socially distanced spas (49 per cent) and private pools (49 per cent). 

45 per cent of Indian respondents said they are saving more money for their next trip as a result of the pandemic.

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