Thomas Cook India, SOTC Travel release Third Holiday Readiness Report (June 2021)

The survey reveals emerging consumer behaviours and trends for travel with 69% respondents keen to resume travel in 2021 and 31% in 2022.

Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel jointly release the Third Holiday Readiness Report (June 2021). Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel surveyed over 4000 customers across India’s Tier 1 - 3 cities in a recent survey to identify emerging consumer behaviours and trends that will drive travel preferences in the COVID era. 

The survey covered consumers of India’s top 8 metros, mini metros like Pune and key Tier 2/3 markets of Jaipur, Indore, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Nagpur, Surat, Baroda, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Mysore, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Patna, etc. The companies have released key findings in their Third Holiday Readiness Report (June 2021).

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited says, “Indian consumers continue to display strong travel desire with a noteworthy 69 per cent keen to travel in 2021. Equally important are consumer concerns on health safety (70 per cent), uncertainty (19 per cent) and need for refundable/zero cancellation products (81 per cent). To address this and boost customer confidence, we have launched 'TravShield,' our commitment to personal safety, financial safety and mental safety. Personal Safety includes vaccinated travellers on tour, vaccinated hotel staff/drivers and interactions with vaccinated travel advisors; sanitized rooms, restaurants and vehicles. Financial Safety covers free cancellations and rescheduling. To ensure mental safety, our products are inbuilt with Covid Insurance and to ensure peace of mind we have our '24x7 Doctor-on-Call' service for any emergency during travel - in partnership with Apollo Clinics.”

He adds, “To give customers an exclusive advantage, our 'Holiday First and Pay When you Return' is a unique offer – allowing them to enjoy their holiday and pay later.”

Commenting on the insights of the survey, Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel states, “We are very encouraged with the strong pent up travel demand (69 per cent) revealed via our survey and given that uncertainty is a key concern, our 'Holiday First and Pay When You Return' is an unbeatable offer – with a minimal token deposit of Rs. 5000 paid pre-holiday and the balance post-holiday. The offer is invaluable as SOTC pays for all the charges/fees till 15 days from return."

"Our TravShield safety commitment is aimed at ensuring a stress-free and safe holiday experience across every stage of the customer journey and enhances our existing Assured Insured Secured Travel Program We truly understand customer concerns on account of health/safety (70 per cent) and TravShield is intended to reassure and build confidence in travel when restrictions ease," he concludes.

The data analysis has revealed valuable insights on travel behavior and customer expectations:

  • Strong Travel Desire/Intent: A significant 69 per cent respondents indicated keen interest to travel in 2021 post ease in restrictions - with 18 per cent ready to travel immediately post unlock and 51 per cent within 3-6 months.
  • Financial Safety: 81 per cent respondents reiterated their need for refundable/zero cancellation products.
  • Physical/Personal Safety: 70 per cent respondents rank Health & Safety as a key consideration.
    • Re-sanitation of rooms: was selected by 52 per cent respondents as a key requirement.
    • Fully vaccinated hotel staff, drivers was a need highlighted by 48 per cent and 34 per cent respondents, respectively.
  • Willingness to Increase Spends basis Health & Safety: 66 per cent respondents are willing to increase spends to ensure higher levels of health & safety on their holiday.
  • Demand for both Domestic (54 per cent) and International (46 per cent) destinations.
    • India: Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh, Himachal, Andamans, Goa, Kerala, etc.
    • International: Dubai-Abu Dhabi, Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand, Europe, etc.
      (Destinations selected basis announcements of unlock/easing of travel restrictions)
  • Duration of Stay: 35 per cent respondents chose holidays between 3-5 days; 52 per cent for 6-12 days; 13 per cent for a holiday of over 12 days.
  • Travel Companions: 62 per cent respondents prefer to travel with family/friends; 20 per cent as couples/solo;18 per cent in a vaccinated group.
  • Need for Human Touch/ Expertise:
    • 77 per cent respondents continued to express strong preference for interaction with an expert for guidance/ reassurance - 27 per cent opting to purchase holidays through retail outlets; 17 per cent for home service; 33 per cent preferred a contactless experience of a virtual store/video chat.
    • 23 per cent opted for bookings via website/app.

Tags assigned to this article:
SOTC Travel Rajeev Kale Daniel D’souza


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