Travellers in India retain a strong intention to travel with preferences for cheaper domestic destinations amid a sagging rupee and looming budgetary concerns, says a survey.
According to a Mid Year Traveller Sentiment survey by TripAdvisor, travellers have not totally abandoned holiday plans with 41 per cent respondents wanting to take more holidays in 2013 as compared to 2012.
"The survey indicates that while budgetary concerns, economic uncertainty and the weakening rupee are driving travellers to alter their holidays, but they don't seem ready to abandon their vacation plans as yet," TripAdvisor India Country Manager Nikhil Ganju said.
"Though the balance may have tipped marginally in favour of domestic holidays, overall holiday estimates remain healthy with 60 per cent respondents still looking at taking between two to four holidays this year" he said.
Plans for domestic holidays show no detraction from travellers' estimates for 2013 taken at the beginning of the year, indicating that domestic vacations stay stable.
Providing that little extra impetus to domestic travel, 19 per cent respondents surveyed said they replaced their international holiday with a domestic one, on account of the staggering fall in rupee value.
Traveller sentiment, however, the survey points out stays optimistic on heading overseas for vacation.
Thirty-six per cent respondents believed they would take more international holidays in 2013 compared to their foreign vacations last year but mid-year, the sentiment sees a 7 per cent dip with 29 per cent now thinking they will end up taking more international holidays this year compared to 2012.
However, 62 per cent travellers still claim they will undertake international vacations this year.
While 36 per cent respondents said their international holiday plans stood unchanged, 16 per cent picked a more economical foreign destination for their vacation than initially planned.
Only 10 per cent respondents said they cancelled their foreign holiday for this year altogether.
Even with more travellers estimating their holiday spend to increase over last year, 75 per cent of those surveyed say they are modifying holiday plans and not abandoning them.
Airfares are clearly an area of concern with 48 per cent respondents believe airfares to popular tourist destinations have been consistently higher this year compared to last year.
While some travellers do stand in support and plan to visit flood ravaged Uttrakhand state soon, quite a few remain fearful in the aftermath.
Travellers seeking cooler climes seem to have moved their holidays to other hill destinations, according to the survey.
Destinations most visited during the first six months saw Goa emerging at the top followed by Shimla and Kerala.
For the next six months Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Leh and Ladakh, Rajasthan, Coorg and Puducherry tops the charts.
Thailand, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok and Malaysia remain favourites as most frequented nternational holiday spots for Indian travellers till July this year, as well as top destinations on the holiday wishlist for the rest of the year.
"More people seem to be keen to take off for a short trip this August compared to last year. About 43 per cent respondents confirmed they planned to take off during the long weekends in August this year for a short break," the survey said.