KAYAK ropes in Mrunal Thakur as their campaign ambassador for the upcoming Diwali season; unveils festive travel trends insights

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KAYAK ropes in Mrunal Thakur as their campaign ambassador for the upcoming Diwali season; unveils festive travel trends insights
  • New data shows a 29% increase in domestic flight searches and 14% for international over the festive travel period*
  • 72% of Indians are willing to spend similarly or more than last year and 4 in 5 Indians would spend less on discretionary expenses to save for travel^ 
  • KAYAK launches updated Best Time to Travel tool with ChatGPT integration 

New Delhi: Travel interest is increasing among Indians as the festive period of Diwali sets in over the coming months, according to new consumer research from KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine.

The KAYAK consumer research of 1,200 Indians, found that Indians are eagerly poised to embark on journeys during this festive period, which commences from Navratris and Dussehra and lasts through Diwali and Bhai Dooj. At a time of the year when many travel back to their hometowns, KAYAK’s consumer research found 98% of Indians surveyed intend to travel within India during the festive period, with  3 out of 5 of those surveyed (60%) intending to travel internationally over the festive travel period.^ 

These insights align with KAYAK search data (based on Indian outbound searches between January and August 2023) for travel between October and November, with domestic flight searches increasing 29% compared to last year and searches for international flights increasing 14%.*

For those travelling within India, half (54%) of those surveyed plan to take two or more trips domestically.^ The top trending domestic destinations for flights on KAYAK over the festive period include Madurai (165% increase in searches year on year), Bhubaneswar (105%) and Ahmedabad (103%).  The top trending international destinations for flights include Colombo, Sri Lanka (340% increase), Hong Kong (162% increase), Seychelles (139% increase) and Tokyo, Japan (128% increase).* 

Prioritising Travel – Costs and Budgeting for The Festive Travel Trip

When it comes to travel budgets, 72% of Indians are willing to spend similarly or more than last year while travelling this festive season.^ In fact, 4 out of 5 Indians are planning on reducing discretionary spending, like gadgets and OTT, to increase their travel budgets this season.

KAYAK search data over the Festive period has revealed the average cost of an international flight is ₹73,371 – increasing only 8% compared to last year while the average domestic flight is ₹15,487 increasing by 14%*.

Indians appear to be treating themselves with a 52% increase in premium economy searches compared to last year and a 33% increase in searches for 4 and 5 star hotels over the festive travel period.

Travel Through the Generations 

India’s aspirational generation who make and break trends–Millennials–have shown the highest propensity to make international travel plans this festive season. About one-third of millennials (37%) plan on taking two or more trips internationally compared to only 16% of Baby Boomers.^

When it comes to travel companions,  while most Indians (4 in 5) plan to travel with family over the festive season – and that’s certainly the case for Baby Boomers (93%) – Gen Z travellers want to spend their holiday with friends (59%). 

KAYAK has partnered with Mrunal Thakur, Indian film actor to promote how easy it is to book family travel or even solo travel in the upcoming festive season. 

“Festive and Diwali traditions are so important to Indians. For me and my family, the festive season has always been synonymous with an epic holiday that represents those positive festive feelings, but with the excitement amped up even more. KAYAK is the ultimate travel buddy who helps me find great deals on flights, hotels and even car rentals. Now that Diwali is approaching, I’m excited about planning my next trip with KAYAK,” said actor and campaign ambassador, Mrunal Thakur.  

Top Destinations for Indian Travellers Over the Festive Season

For those planning an international trip this festive season –  trips within Asia (excluding domestic flights within India) are trending, with searches showing a 133% increase compared to last year. Flights to South America and the South Pacific (i.e. Australia and New Zealand) have also shown notable search increases, with 95% and 16% increases, respectively.* 

The most searched international destination for flights overall for festive travel is Dubai followed by Bangkok, Bali, and Singapore*. Further, Goa was the most searched domestic destination, followed by Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Srinagar.

Tarun Tahiliani, India Country Manager, KAYAK, said, “This festive season is shaping up to be quite exciting for Indian travellers, with a large majority of those surveyed ready to take that much-awaited trip, or going by the data, taking multiple trips! By providing comprehensive flights, hotel and car hire options, we, at KAYAK, are on a mission to help Indian travellers find the perfect holiday at a great price.”

Food & Travel: The Perfect Match for a Festive Holiday

So, what are Indians looking forward to the most on their Diwali holiday? Unsurprisingly, 72% of Indians look forward to food and culinary experiences as one of the most enjoyable activities while travelling along with shopping and exploring local markets and 45% felt food is worthy of the ‘five-star indulgence’ while selecting a hotel.

Apart from food, basking in their destination’s culture is also important to Indian travellers. Setting off on new expeditions during a festive season so deeply rooted in the country’s vibrant historical and mythological landscape, Gen X (72%) and Baby Boomers (75%) prefer locations with rich cultures, traditions and heritage while travelling, compared to Gen Z (64%). However, younger Indians – Gen Z (58%) and Millennials (56%) – prefer destinations with adventure and activities as compared to Baby Boomers (36%). 

Sit Back & Celebrate – Letting AI Tool Support Your Travel

Technology will understandably play a significant role in the travel planning process, with about 60% of Gen Z and Millennial Indians saying that they will use AI to plan their holidays in the next two years as compared to Baby Boomers (49%).

Tarun Tahiliani, India Country Manager at KAYAK said, “Travel isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, KAYAK’s personalized recommendations identify the best time to be there at a great price. Integrated with ChatGPT insights, our newly launched Best Time To Travel, on top of data analysis, uncovers key events at your chosen destination.”

To find and compare great deals on flights, hotels and car hire – visit KAYAK.co.in and use the Best Time to Travel tool to find the  perfect time to go on your next holiday.