Indian travellers are becoming more Internet savvy with a growing trend showing them increasingly booking flights and hotel rooms online.
As much as 67 per cent of Indian leisure travellers prefer to travel by air rather than rail or road, while 83 per cent of them prepare their own travel itinerary instead of depending on travel agents or tour operators, a survey by major online travel company Yatra.com said.
With a whopping four-fifth of travellers planning their own holiday itinerary, Sharat Dhall, the company's president, said, "A new trend picking up among Indian travellers is that of buying hotel rooms online. It will become a significant trend in the next two years."
Many of the travellers are already buying airline tickets online. However, high air fares due to the recent decision to allow additional charges for preferential seats, meals, baggage and other services could hit the high demand for air travel, especially on domestic sectors, he said.
Dhall pointed out that those preferring rail or road as their mode of travel were still in a significant number as air travel has become expensive.
While Ladakh was the most preferred destination within India, it was Thailand on the international holiday map.
“Our sales show that almost 50 per cent of those going abroad for vacations prefer Thailand. Major reasons for this are visa-on-arrival, cheap hotel and flight options, good shopping and a favourable exchange rate," Dhall said.
Regarding choice of hotels, he said the most preferred ones were three and four-star properties. "Star-rating of hotels is a key criteria for Indian travellers."
Interestingly, umbrella was one of the things among the top four must-haves during holidays. The other items were camera, sunglasses and a food guide.
Among those surveyed, half of them were aged between 30-40 years and 25 per cent above the age of 40.
The survey also found that 65 per cent travelers preferred holiday travel with their families, with three top priorities being shopping, trekking or other adventure sport and relaxation, in that order of preference.