This article has been extracted from ‘Get India Ready’ ebook, made in collaboration with Tourism Australia.  To download the whole ebook, click here.

In part 2 of the 3-chapter series of ‘Get India Ready’ for tour and activity operators, you will discover all the essential information about an Indian traveler: the profiles of Indian travelers, their traveling behaviors, booking patterns, and what they are looking for.

India Outbound Market Series – chapters:

1: Introduction to India Outbound Market
2: An Analysis of the Target Customers: Indian Travelers Profiled
3: How To Deliver Quality Service and Provide Top-Notch Experience for the Indian Traveler

Understanding the Target Customers in the Australian Context

Australia is a highly aspirational destination for Indian travelers, with visiting Australia’s beaches and iconic landmarks high on their list. Associations with Australia are strongest for its natural landscapes and wildlife. The country is perceived to have a range of experiences on offer, both adventurous and family-friendly.

As an integral part of the India 2020 Strategic Plan, understanding the needs and wants of these consumers and sharing these insights is a vital foundation for tour and activity providers who wish to refine their marketing activities to target this booming market.

Indian travelers profiled: demographic

There are different sets of Indian travelers that tour and activity providers can target. Specifically, these travelers include:

  • Affluent – they are amongst the wealthiest of India’s population, but income does vary across cities.
  • Men and women aged 35-54 years.
  • Couples (including honeymooners) and families (often traveling with children).

 

Living situation of indian travelers

 

  • Work as: entrepreneurs or self-employed, highly qualified professionals, and senior executives at multinational companies.

 

Indian travelers profiled: occupations

 

  • Experienced travelers – have traveled for leisure in the past 12 months and have Australia as part of their holiday consideration set, and
  • Those from Tier 1 cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore, but also smaller cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Amritsar are emerging as important source markets for Indian outbound travel as well.

Indian travelers profiled: travel behaviors

The Indian travelers prefer traveling in four unique ways:

  • Firstly, they prefer semi-free independent travel where most will pre-book/ package parts of their holidays before arriving to Australia. This includes booking flights, transfers, accommodation and some activities.
  • Group travel and tours are popular options for less experienced travelers as group travel is considered safer for a new destination so far away from home.
  • Safety and security, as well as value for money, are the main reasons these consumers pre-book of their holidays and when they are selecting a holiday destination.
  • Most Indians travel to Australia after first traveling short-haul within Asia and long haul to Europe or the USA.

How the Indians research and book their holidays

For the average Indian traveler, there are many ways that they engage when researching and booking a holiday. Usually, overseas holidays are planned with the immediate family, with ‘feeling comfortable and safe’ is the most important factor in their destination choice. Most of the planning starts two to six months before traveling where it is done in person with travel agents and online services.

For long-haul destinations, bookings are predominantly made with a trusted travel agent. For the short-haul and familiar destinations, bookings are increasingly made through online channels, particularly for airfares and accommodation. Even if travel agents, are used, most consumers will do some independent research to verify what the agent is telling them. Travel agents are commonly used to arrange and obtain visas.

How to influence their travel decision-making

There are many factors that can influence the Indian traveler’s decision-making. Most predominantly, recommendations from family and friends who have visited or who live in Australia play the most influential role as they are seen as trusted information sources. Travel agents and tour operators are consulted for information on where to holiday and are important when planning and booking.

Other sources include travel-specific information on the Internet, online social networking sites such as Facebook, destinations featured on TV and films and marketing messages from news and media.

 

Indian travelers profiled - destination choices

What are the Indian travelers looking for?

For a long-haul trip (such as Australia), a holiday of up to 10 days includes times to destress and spend time with family. The latter are key motivators for leisure travel and the main consideration when designing their holidays. They like to visit beaches and famous landmarks like the Opera House.

The most important factors that they want from traveling are safety and security as they perceive Australia to be generally safe for tourists and families, as well as value for money when partaking in activities, tours, and attractions.

Once gaining knowledge of an Indian traveler profile, tour and activity providers can strategically narrow their service offerings to suit the needs of the Indian traveler to ultimately heighten their tourism experiences.

Top 5 emerging destinations for Indian travelers within the coming years

With the wide range of Indian travelers that embark on various travel adventures every year, there are various groups of travelers that seek different adventures. A report published by Pick Your Trail identified 5 different emerging holiday destinations for Indian travelers.

1. Seychelles

Seychelles has recently become a popular destination for Indian travelers seeking a beach holiday. In 2015, Seychelles saw over 8000 Indian tourists visit the country, however, that figure has increased by more than 40% in recent years. Better yet, Seychelles provides heaps of benefits for Indian travelers to choose to travel there.

These benefits include:

  • No visa requirements for Indian travelers coming to Seychelles
  • Direct flights to Seychelles from Mumbai
  • Indians don’t require a driving license
  • Affordable accommodation

With the benefits listed above and the beautiful tropic beaches and resorts the country has to offer, Seychelles has become an Indian traveler’s dream for a stress-free getaway.

2. Australia

According to an Australian tourism report, Indian travelers come to Australia to experience its breathtaking beaches, iconic landmarks, unique wildlife, food & wine, and exquisite nature. These top 5 things are mainly the reason why 11.8% of yearly international arrivals in Australia are Indian travelers.

Australia is a popular holiday destination for Indian travelers due to:

  • Having 3 out of the top 10 world’s most liveable cities in Australia. These include Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide.
  • The Great Barrier Reef attracts thousands of Indian travelers for its vibrant colors and marine diversity. The Great Barrier Reef is definitely on a lot of Indian travelers’ bucket lists.
  • Many Indians adore Australia’s food & wine culture as one of the best in the world. With the variety of cuisine that is available, especially for vegans and vegetarians, many Indian travelers have an abundance of fresh choices of food to choose from.
  • Australia’s visa application process makes it super easy for Indians looking to travel to Australia. It’s free and online. And for most Indians, if they have a decent travel history, they may be granted a three year, multiple entry visa

3. South Africa

Indian travelers are ranked 8th for South Africa’s international arrivals. With it’s endless options in tours and activities, famous wildlife, and affordable accommodation, it’s no wonder a lot of Indian travelers are flocking to South Africa.

Many Indian travelers choose to travel to South Africa for its:

  • Popular adventure activities such as nature tours and wildlife safaris are one of the biggest draws among other thousands of adventure activities
  • South Africa offers affordable accommodation with many resorts offering 15-night vacation packages starting from 100,000 Indian Rupees and upwards. This is roughly USD1300
  • High quality wildlife photography
  • Relaxed and quick visa processes for Indian travelers

4. New Zealand

In 2016, Tourism New Zealand appointed Bollywood actor, Sidharth Malhotra as its tourism ambassador for India. They invited him to the country for a 10-day trip where he explored and learned the Maori culture along with visiting famous New Zealand landmarks. 

Indian travelers profiled with Sidharth as New Zealands tourism ambassador

Since then, Indian travelers have had their eye on New Zealand as one of their preferred holiday destinations.

  • New Zealand is known for its evergreen nature and driving around this beautiful country is known to be very relaxing. Many Indian travelers come to New Zealand self-drive around the country to soak up the beautiful scenery.
  • There may be no direct flights to New Zealand from India, however, convenient hubs like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Bangkok make it easy to transit to this popular destination.
  • The majority of Indians go travel between November to March during Christmas and the summer break. With NZ being in summer during those months, this makes it the perfect time to travel with the best chance of great sunny weather
  • New Zealand provides a variety of activities for a variety of travelers. From families seeking a family-friendly holiday, to adventurous couples looking to hike the Te Arararoa trail, New Zealand has an activity for everyone.

5. Eastern Europe

With the gaining popularity of TV shows such as Game of Thrones which was set mostly in Dubrovnik, Croatia, many Indian travelers have started to show a greater interest in Eastern European countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, and Hungary. These countries are a massive hotspot when it comes to culture and scenic landscapes. 

Countries such as Prague and Austria offer a beautiful medieval-esque ambiance where travelers can immerse themselves in their favorite Hollywood movies. On top of that, Eastern European countries are known for their food and beers that many Indian travelers love.

4 reasons why Indian travelers are choosing to travel to Eastern Europe:

  • Eastern Europe provides a fusion of modern contemporary and classic medieval within their cities. The mixture of both architectural elements is unique to Eastern Europe and is rarely found in any other country.
  • Many famous Hollywood TV and movie series have been filmed in Eastern Europe
  • Eastern European countries are more affordable compared to other well-known European countries such as France and Italy
  • With warm and friendly people, Eastern Europe is the starting point for many Indian travelers looking to start their European adventures

To be continued…

Next Chapter: How To Deliver Quality Service and Provide Top-Notch Experience for the Indian Traveler.

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