25 Mar 2018 19:09 IST

Indian travellers spend 40% more than their regional counterparts: Visa study

Over 84 per cent of Indian travellers prefer to pay by card when booking their vacation

Visa recently released its Global Travel Intention (GTI) Report that highlights the leading trends in travel and tourism in 2017, with insights from over 12,000 globetrotters. The study reveals that Indian travellers are increasingly combining business travel with leisure add-ons. Indians also lead their regional APAC counterparts in terms of the number and length of trips, and the amount spent.

“The GTI study threw up some interesting travel insights. There is a growing preference for digital payments: over 84 per cent of Indian travellers prefer to pay by card for booking their vacation and 51 per cent spend through their cards while on vacation. Even with travellers who preferred carrying cash on vacation, over 94 per cent Indians reported bringing back unspent cash, indicating the wide acceptance of digital payments, cards in particular. This augurs well for the digital-first approach we have adopted in the country,” said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India & South Asia, Visa.

Travellers from India have averaged 5.6 trips in the past two years, compared to 4.7 for APAC and 4.2 globally. This was boosted by business travel — 2.6 trips compared to APAC (1.6 trips) and global (1.4). Indian travellers spend much more — an average of $2,334 against APAC’s $1,677 — and they plan to increase that spend by 21 per cent when travelling in the next two years. India is also expected to lead in all categories — leisure, business and other, in the next two years.

A key motivator for Indians to travel is bonding with family, although ‘disconnecting’ and ‘reward’ are close behind. Culture/heritage, time available and good scenery are key drivers of destination choice. They are less likely to be concerned about budgets, compared to APAC or global travellers. Group travel is common, more than half do so, but a third of Indians travel solo.

Indians are increasingly using technology to plan their trips and navigate their destinations — 97 per cent of travellers used technology for this purpose in 2017, the highest compared in the region, and globally. Indians spend the least amount of cash (35 per cent) when compared to their peers in APAC (51 per cent) and globally (53 per cent).

Macro trends

In addition to examining motivations and planning tactics, the study also uncovered a number of macro trends expected to continue into 2018:

- Indians are less dependent on cash, preferring other payment methods, and only a third of them spend at destination is in cash. Visa continues to be most preferred card brand overseas

- Some 45 per cent of Indian travellers chose destinations based on personal safety, while 21 per cent chose travel destinations to avoid the number of cyber-security attacks reported in the region.

- 97 per cent of Indian travellers want to stay connected to the internet while travelling, which is the highest compared to their global peers.

- Japan, the US and Australia are the most visited countries: Indians travel further compared to their regional and global peers. The United States has overtaken Australia as the most popular destination in the last two years.

- 75 per cent of millennials indulge and spend in shopping and dining, which is higher than the other categories of Indian travellers.

- 96 per cent of Indian travellers made impromptu travel plans, which is higher than their peers.

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