70% Of Indian Travelers Will Be More Price-Conscious While Planning Trips Post-COVID: Study As financial complexities trail COVID-19, many Indians tighten their purse strings for their travel plans and pin their expectations on discounts and promotions from travel companies

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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The global pandemic put an immediate halt on travel, and while restrictions have started to ease in many parts of the world, the financial legacy of COVID-19 will linger for much longer. While travelers may still be keen to resume traveling as soon as it is safe, they will be far more focused on value for money, booking transparency, and flexibility now more than before, according to a survey conducted by digital travel assistant Booking.com.

Survey conducted by Booking.com among a sample of adults who have traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries were polled including the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Russia, Israel, India, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

The survey revealed that 70 per cent of Indian travelers believe they will be more price-conscious when it comes to searching and planning a trip post-COVID whereas 64 per cent are more likely to hunt down for promotions and savings. Around 74 per cent expect travel companies to support their future travel plans via discounts and promotions.

As finances top the priorities list, travelers will shift their choice of destination too, with many once sought-after destinations falling off the 'bucket list'. Around 57 per cent of Indian travelers say they will opt for a discounted trip to a place they wouldn't have otherwise chosen, rather than paying more for a dream destination.

The value will be placed on the immediacy with almost 62 per cent of Indian travelers favoring a trip they could afford in the short-term rather than saving for a dream trip with more uncertainty.

But traveler demand for value will run deeper than simply the price tag. Nervousness around the prospect of having to cancel a trip means flexibility will be key with 77 per cent of Indian travelers saying travel platforms need to add value by increasing transparency about cancellation policies, refund processes, and trip insurance options. Flexibility will also be top-of-mind with 38 per cent of travelers saying they will consider refundable accommodation a must-have and 36 per cent will want the flexibility to change the check-in dates without being charged.

"The effect of COVID-19 has and will continue to evolve the way we travel, impacting our choices and decisions in the near future. With the financial strain of the pandemic felt by many throughout India, the travel industry will need to come together and respond inventively to offer deeper value, better choice, increased flexibility, and transparency to the travelers. Maximizing travel for less will be the new normal in 2021 and beyond," said Ritu Mehrotra, Booking.com country manager, in a statement.

"To meet the evolved travel demands and expectations, Booking.com is committed to offer enhanced, safe and thoughtful experiences for tomorrow's travelers as they scrutinize their travel spends going forward," Mehrotra added.

As 2021 rolls closer and closer, the way travelers plan to experience the world will continue to evolve. No matter the evolution though, one thing is for sure: travelers will be prioritizing value more than ever.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

Former Staff

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