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Indians looking to live anywhere, explore nature getaways and offbeat locations when travel returns

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Indians are looking at travel in newer ways and exploring flexible, nearby travel and travel to work remotely, according to new Airbnb and YouGov research conducted in May 2021.

The survey showed that 43% of Indians would like to travel this year when able to (66% to destinations that are a drive away) and are excited about visiting new places with loved ones, relaxing in nature, enjoying offbeat destinations and sharing their experiences and recommendations with others. A third would like to spend time travelling and working in different locations. Here are top trends from the latest survey:

Looking forward to travel

While the timeline for travel recovery depends on a number of external factors such as vaccination coverage, Indians continue to be eager to get back to travelling and connecting with new people and places.

The survey showed that 43% would expect or plan to travel in the year and 66% would consider trips that are within driving distance. More than a third of respondents (36%) would like to travel and explore new places with loved ones. About eight in ten (78%) said they would like to be closer to their family in order to receive or provide support.

Flexible living and working

A third of Indian travellers (33%) would like to spend time travelling and working ‘anywhere’ in different locations, in a post-pandemic world. About two-thirds (62%) of respondents say they would opt for off-peak times of the year to travel.

Hosted travel catering to desire for unique experiences

Seven in ten (69%) respondents are interested in unique accommodations when they travel next (formats such as heritage homes, havelis, farm stays and villas), and a third (35%) say that they are very likely to stay in unique accommodations when they travel next. GenZ (70%) and Millennials (73%), who comprise a large pool of current and future travelers, are leading this trend.

Nature travel continues to inspire

Nature travel continues to be preferred by four in ten (40%) respondents. Hill stations seem to be a popular choice, with 44% of Indian residents wanting to visit destinations such as Manali, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ooty, Munnar, Coorg, and Kashmir. The beaches of Goa, Kerala, and Pondicherry are also sought-after destinations for Indian travelers (38%).

Capturing travel experiences with loved ones

Thinking about ways they can remember their trip, six in ten (59%) Indian residents hoping to embark on a holiday say they will take pictures as a way of remembering their trip, with close to half (47%) saying they will share stories with loved ones.

Commenting on these trends, Amanpreet Bajaj, general manager of Airbnb India in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: “As many of us think of travelling again, stepping out the door will be about spending quality time with loved ones and creating new memories in unique destinations nearby or in nature. It will also be about exploring more flexible ways to live and work in a new world.”

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