Explore the Unexplored: Leisure travel & adventure trending in 2021

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InterMiles, ‘Consumer Sentiment Index Report (Travel) 2.0’ unveiled the projections from their second travel survey. InterMiles, a leading travel and lifestyle rewards program surveyed 11,500 InterMilers in January 2021 from different parts of the country. The report projects the changing trends and preferences in consumption patterns of the modern-day Indian traveller, predominantly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leisure travel surmounts the trend list of travel priorities, with close to 65% of respondents driven by the quest for adventure-ready to explore new destinations. While travel in the year 2020 was more or less limited or restricted to travel only for indispensable needs; 2021 is witnessing a total shift in the trend to a break-free culture, with more travellers showing a positive approach towards leisure travel to break away from the tedium.

The subsequent positions on the list are occupied by travel for meeting friends and family, followed by Business and Corporate travel. Despite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, the survey showed that 54% of the respondents were finally ready to step outdoors again to meet their friends and family.

The trends for 2021 show that business and corporate travel is anticipated to be among the top segments to recover, especially with the silver lining of COVID-19 vaccinations now being made available for the citizens. The survey results showed that 85% of the respondents were considering business travel in 2021.

Work cum vacation or workcation is an emerging trend in the 21st century, with more employees leaving the conventional cubicles and choosing remote locations to work from. These new-age working travellers, all geared up with their devices are constantly on the lookout for outlandish locations which could bring them closer to nature. This trend offers an advantageous opportunity for backpacking hostels, workcation packages, work-centric rentals and caravans.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a flexible and comfortable travel experience can be offered only by following safety and hygiene standards, and travel advisories issued by the authorities to curb the further spread of infections. The survey reveals that 39% of the respondents are still apprehensive to use any form of public transport. The responses also show that travellers are most comfortable with personal vehicles, followed by air travel to a certain extent.

These recent shifts in travel trends among consumers in a dynamic market have laid an added pressure on travel providers to consider the flexibility aspect. With over 60% of Indians manifesting their confidence in domestic, local and hyperlocal travel; InterMiles, ‘Consumer Sentiment Index Report (Travel) 2.0’ conjectures 2021 to be the year of travel revival in India.

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