Post Covid Indian traveller emerging as high spending, demanding domestic tourism consumer: PRmoment-Hill+Knowlton Strategies Friday Zone series

On the latest PRmoment-Hill+Knowlton Friday Zone series, we discuss the rise of domestic tourism in India, even as the Omicron variant causes nations to brace for the next wave.

Domestic Tourism on the rise?

Post Covid-19, there has been a rise in domestic tourism, including staycations, and this is what is driving the travel and tourism industry. By 2028, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 30.5 billion and generate revenue of over US$ 59 billion. However, domestic tourists are expected to drive the growth, post-pandemic in India.

As as travellers watch how the Omicron mutation progresses ( Mumbai has just announced mandatory current RT-PCR certificates for all domestic airline arrivals).

 Rashmi Soni, VP and head of corporate communications at Tata SIA Airlines, explained that as rules keep evolving, "The majority of the demand is coming from visiting family and friends. We don't see a very significant revival of the corporate travel it is coming definitely it is slowly coming back. There are also these corporate events being organised, people are going back to their, you know, offices, their workplaces. So we see here slow revival of the corporate travel, but majorly the demand has been driven by VFR and leisure travel."

Dilshad Master Kumar, director-Outward Bound India- Himalaya believes, "We should really be focusing on the domestic traveller, they are the people who are spending a lot more money as well. I think your inbound (international) traveller, I don't have the numbers, but I don't see a large percentage of them spending more than say, $100 a day, your  domestic traveller will spend that kind of money. They will spend that money on accommodation, food, transportation, on a per head basis. So much larger spenders. And I think that should really, really be all everybody should be focusing on that."

Sumeet Keswani, managing editor, Travel + Leisure India & South Asia agrees saying, "Another part that sort of promotes domestic travel right now is money. I'm not saying Indians don't have the spending capacity, Indians do. But what happens is people who are capable of travelling internationally, can look at a limited number of countries like I said, and because the flying capacity is limited, air ticket prices have skyrocketed to countries like the UK and the UAE. So people who would have otherwise flown out are forced to look within the country and say, Okay, where can I go in this budget with a family?."

Keswani added, "And there is a there is the Omicron variant of concern as we speak. So there are developments that are worrisome for for anybody travelling out of India. So there are a limited number of countries that people can look at, that obviously forces them to look at their backyard that forces them to see where they can go in India and get a similar sort of experience. "

Commenting on how communication has evolved dealing with the changes in the travel and tourism industry, Gunjan Mukherjee, lead, travel, tourism and hospitality, Hill+Knowlton Strategies India, said " Now it's all about reintroducing, it's all about telling how that hotel or how that airline has revamped keeping your your preferences and demands in mind. Because, now the consumer is also throwing words like I'm a conscious eater, I am a very health focused  traveller, I believe in sustainable travel. So, now the communication is queuing towards those elements."

    Do watch the full discussion here:

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