(Last Updated On: February 9, 2018)

Travelling is a wonderful way to understand and enjoy the world you live in, and recent trends in the travel sector reveal that more people are rediscovering the joy of traveling. As Christmas and New Year celebrations spread a festive cheer through the air, people from all over the country are travelling to places new and old to make the holiday season a memorable one. And since the end of the year is drawing near, there is no better time to look back at the year that was and scrutinize the ways in which the travel sector has shaped up for the Indian market.

Travel trends are a great way to gain insight into the new destinations on the touristic radar and to understand travelling preferences, both domestic and global. If you know what is trending in the market, you will know the best places in the market and be able to make travel decisions that will add greater depth and flavour to your vacations. An article put together by Economic Times on the travelling trends found among Indian consumers in 2017 is the perfect place to dive into the travel and understand what makes Indian travellers tick.

What’s TRENDING in the TRAVEL market?

  • The last year has seen a rise in the percentage of Indians travelling to different places- 39% more Indians have taken a holiday in 2017 as compared to 2016.
  • As far as travelling destinations go, international travel has ruled the house in 2017- with international travel rates going up by 60% in comparison to 2016.
  • Interestingly, it is the ease of booking which has influenced this growth in a significant manner. Smartphones, lower data costs and online booking platforms are key factors in bringing about a measured shift in how people in the country think about travelling. 59% of online transactions are conducted via smartphone interactions versus the 41% on a desktop.
  • People in India are also shelling out more money so that they can have a more comfortable travelling experience.
  • Airline travel rates have shot up to record highs and the number of people checking into premium hotels has also markedly improved.
  • According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, during the months of January- November 2017, domestic airlines carried 10.6 crore passengers, a drastic 17% shift from 2016 while the percentage of people choosing premium accommodations has shifted from 23% to 26% in 2017.
  • Most of the travellers in India also belong to the younger generation, with a majority being under 35 years old. 45% of travellers in the Indian market fall between the ages of 25 to 36.
  • Men are responsible for a greater number of online travel bookings as compared to women.

Bolder and Better-Indians LOVE travelling to


The trends in this kind of inquiry prove truly insightful and very interesting. Indian travellers have various types of destination preferences based on their budgets, time, and desires.

  • By far the most popular holiday destinations among domestic travellers are Goa and Udaipur, followed by Jaisalmer and Manali. On a global scale, Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore are popular travel destinations alongside Dubai and London.
  • But while many people travel to these popular places, Indian travellers are also growing bolder in their destination preferences and are choosing to explore new and unexplored destinations both in the country and outside it.
  • This is why places like Thekkady (Kerala), Bhuj (Gujarat) and Diu are ranked among the fastest growing travel destinations in India while US, Canada and Turkey take the prize for the fastest growing international destinations. These destinations are favoured by tourists because of the popular desire to gain more from a trip, to explore lands that have not been done to death by other tourists and to have fun while creating some special memories.
  • Indians love their beaches and backwaters, but they also have an equal fondness for the cold and the snow. Which is why Manali and Shimla have long reigned as the beloved snow-bound destinations of Indian travellers. Gulmarg in Kashmir is also a favoured destination for enjoying the snow in India.
  • On a global scale, the search for snow leads tourists to hotspots like Amsterdam, Paris and Moscow.
  • Another segment of tourists is taking travelling to the next level by deciding to visit places that are almost off the charts- Kumarakom, Chikmagalur, and Malvan are some offbeat Indian destinations making the waves.
  • Helsinki and Florence are the two offbeat global destinations rising in popularity.
  • These places are wonderful choices for those who wish to experience a holiday unadulterated by dollops of touristic consumerism. They allow tourists to experience the local life, and feel one with the destination, and so have a very memorable, offbeat trip.

The Prize for the most Travel Loving City goes to

While a greater proportion of Indians are travelling, the consumer base largely draws from metropolitan cities which reflects the economic sensibilities of Indian travellers.
Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune are the places from where most travel bookings were made in 2017.


Pick Up & Go- When do most INDIANS head out on their TRAVEL Adventures?

Trends reveal that a large number of people choose to travel at the end of the year because it is the time to sit back and simply relax away from the pressures of work. The days around Christmas and New Year especially see a record number of people heading out to enjoy themselves.

Trends show that the weekend around Christmas is a more favoured time to travel than the weekend around New Year.

  • As of 2017, the percentage of people travelling during Christmas has risen to 64% from 59% in 2016.
  • On the other hand, the number of people planning to travel around the New Year has fallen to 36% in 2017 as compared to 41% in 2016.

Travelling in Style: HOW WE INDIANS TRAVEL-

There are various factors which go into assessing how Indian tourists are looking at travelling. Monetary expenditure, time expenditure, the way bookings are made and the time of the year- all of these contribute to give analysts a clearer idea of what the Indian tourist wants.

Indian tourists spend a decent amount of time travelling too-

  • On an average, in 2017, Indians spent 5 days on a domestic trip and 6 days on an international trip. Such time allocation gives tourists a chance to actually enjoy the experience of a relaxed vacation.

Indians are spending far more on their travel than they were wont to do earlier. Average holiday spends have been rising steadily over the past few years.

  • As of 2017, an Indian tourist spent approximately INR 16,000 per person on a domestic trip, and 59,000 INR on an international trip. Better accommodations and the desire to spend more on experience-based activities has led to a boost in tourist spending.

Indians are also open to exploration, and this trend is reflected not only in their choice of destination but also in their choice of accommodation.

  • Not only are tourists willing to spend more on premium hotels, they are also open to trying out new styles of residence including cottages, service apartments, villas and guesthouses.

The way people look at pre-bookings has also undergone a significant shift, thanks in large part to online bookings. The statistics here show how the consumer mentality has changed with regard to travelling-

  • On an average, 37% people book their trips between 0 to 29 days in advance, indicating a spontaneous desire to travel even if it only involves a short planning period. This number is up from the 22% in 2016.
  • Roughly 29% people booked 30 to 59 days in advance in comparison to the 41% in 2016 while the number of people booking between 60 to over 90 days in advance stayed nearly the same.

What these Trends Show:

Looking at tourist travelling trends in 2017 is crucial if we wish to make smarter decisions as travellers. By looking at the way in which the tide is flowing, it is possible for potential travellers to make their own travel choices with greater awareness.

  • By and large, the core trend we see in the Indian travel market is that the Indian traveller is growing in daring by showing a willingness to follow paths less taken.
  • This shows an appetite for measured risk- a very important consideration because very often great memories are made only when you step out of the comfort zone and explore new regions.
  • By choosing to explore new destinations and embrace new modes of accommodation, Indian tourists are projecting a positive way of looking at travel as a window to new adventures.

The rise in the number of travellers and the amount of monetary outlay on travel reflects that Indians are fast beginning to look upon travel as a necessary part of life which should be enjoyed in the best way possible.