Published: 02nd January 2021
The future of travel: Will we willingly go places in 2021?
The massive reduction in leisure/holiday travel has resulted in significant pent up demand, especially among the younger demographic who has exhibited more resilience and optimism about travelling
A recent study conducted by AirAsia India revealed that consumers are more likely to fly during the festive/holiday season. As the year comes to an end, with most of it plagued by the pandemic, the road to recovery for the travel industry is looking within sight. Ever since the opening of the domestic aviation sector post the two-month lockdown, the road to recovery has been gradual but steady. As per the latest data available, the domestic traffic has recovered to 49 per cent of last year's figures but the recovery rate has been improving by 5 to 6 percentage points each month. VFR (visiting friends and relatives) has registered significant growth in the last few months, contributing to over two-thirds of travel in the months post lockdown and is expected to continue at pre-COVID levels going forward.
Post-COVID travel has skewed towards a younger, more male demographic and it is likely that the age group between 18 and 29 years will increase its share. The massive reduction in leisure/holiday travel has resulted in significant pent up demand, especially among the younger demographic who has exhibited more resilience and optimism about travelling. The 20-29 age group has increased from 25 per cent to 42 per cent of the travelling base, whereas 40+ travellers have reduced from 19 per cent to 10 per cent of travellers between June and October 2020.
Siddhartha Butalia | (Pic: AirAsia India)
As per the study, those who intend to travel prefer flying or using their personal vehicles over other modes of transport. On an average, people consider air travel much safer than eating out, visiting a mall, taking a holiday abroad and significantly safer than taking a bus or train. Trends suggest that the time between booking and travel has shortened considerably, with 55 per cent of bookings coming within seven days of the travel date. Travel planning beyond 30 days has reduced from 27 per cent to less than 5 per cent.
With many companies introducing a ‘Work from Anywhere’ policy, short mid-week trips might take over the concept of weekend getaways with the majority citing Goa as their preferred holiday destination!
Siddhartha Butalia is the Chief Marketing Officer of AirAsia India