Indians are looking at new ways to travel and live anywhere: Airbnb Survey

Indians looking to live anywhere, explore nature getaways and offbeat locations and accommodations when travel returns, according to the latest Airbnb & YouGov Survey.

  • While 2021 will see a more cautious return to travel for many, 36% of Indians would travel and explore new places with loved ones 
  • 43% say they would expect or plan to travel during the year, two-thirds (66%) would consider trips close by and a third (33%) would like to spend time travelling and working in different locations
  • Four in ten (40%) hope to get closer to nature, with hills and beaches key destinations of choice
  • Gen Z and Millennials hope to explore offbeat travel to new destinations such as wildlife reserves
  • Seven in ten (69%) would prefer to stay in a villa or other unique accommodation formats

Indians are looking at travel in newer ways and exploring flexible, nearby travel and travel to work remotely, according to new YouGov research* conducted in May 2021.

The survey showed that 43% of Indians would like to travel this year when able to (66% to destinations that are a drive away) and are excited about visiting new places with loved ones, relaxing in nature, enjoying offbeat destinations and sharing their experiences and recommendations with others. A third would like to spend time travelling and working in different locations.

Here are top trends from the latest survey:

Looking forward to travel:

  • While the timeline for travel recovery depends on a number of external factors such as vaccination coverage, Indians continue to be eager to get back to travelling and connecting with new people and places.
  • The survey showed that 43% would expect or plan to travel in the year and 66% would consider trips that are within driving distance.
  • More than a third of respondents (36%) would like to travel and explore new places with loved ones. About eight in ten (78%) said they would like to be closer to their family in order to receive or provide support.

Flexible living and working:

  • A third of Indian travellers (33%) would like to spend time travelling and working ‘anywhere’ in different locations, in a post-pandemic world. 
  • About two-thirds (62%) of respondents say they would opt for off-peak times of the year to travel.

Hosted travel catering to desire for flexibility and unique experiences:

  • Seven in ten (69%) respondents are interested in unique accommodations when they travel next (formats such as heritage homes, havelis, farm stays and villas), and a third (35%) say that they are very likely to stay in unique accommodations when they travel next.
  • GenZ (70%) and Millennials (73%), who comprise a large pool of current and future travelers, are leading this trend.
  • We expect a travel rebound unlike anything we have seen before, and we’ve made it easy for anyone who wants to host and take advantage of the coming travel surge. Half of new listings globally that were both activated and booked in early 2021 got a reservation request within four days, and for the year ending April 30, 2021, the average annual earnings per Homes Host who has welcomed at least one guest on Airbnb was about US$9,600.

Nature travel continues to inspire:

  • Nature travel continues to be preferred by four in ten (40%) respondents. 
  • Hill stations seem to be a popular choice, with 44% of Indian residents wanting to visit destinations such as Manali, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ooty, Munnar, Coorg, and Kashmir.  
  • The beaches of Goa, Kerala, and Pondicherry are also sought-after destinations for Indian travelers (38%).
  • In addition, Gen Z (25%) and Millennials (23%) hope to explore offbeat travel to new destinations such as visiting a wildlife reserve, when they travel next, compared with Baby Boomers.

Capturing travel experiences and sharing them with loved ones:

Thinking about ways they can remember their trip, six in ten (59%) Indian residents hoping to embark on a holiday say they will take pictures as a way of remembering their trip, with close to half (47%) saying they will share stories with loved ones.

Commenting on these trends, Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said:

“As many of us think of travelling again, stepping out the door will be about spending quality time with loved ones and creating new memories in unique destinations nearby or in nature. It will also be about exploring more flexible ways to live and work in a new world. Reflecting these preferences in India and around the world, Airbnb recently launched more than 100 upgrades that include new ways for customers to discover unique nearby destinations, and easier ways to sign up to be a host on Airbnb.”

*Survey conducted by YouGov between 28 April – 18 May 2021 with a sample size of 1,023.

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