· Key growth drivers: adventure (33%), unique locales -experiences (35%), spa-wellness (26%) · Solo travel witnesses a 15% growth in demand
Mumbai: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., released its Women’s Travel Trends Report 2020 highlighting a strong 32% growth in travel demand, across the leisure and b-leisure trips. Displaying a clear shift from conventional to the off-beat, India’s women are travelling as a means to disconnect, unwind and enrich themselves. From culture rich experiences to adrenaline infused outdoor adventures, they are setting out to discover the world!
The desire to explore new destinations-unique experiences is a significant driver across 35% of women, with Thomas Cook India’s report highlighting appetite for non-standard destinations/stay experiences (igloos in Finland, bubble-stays in Thailand, tree houses in Malaysia or a historical chateau in France); experiences like Muay thai kick boxing in Thailand, appreciating the science behind coffee/tea while staying at plantations in Karnataka/ Assam or heady wine-cuisine experiences in Bordeaux/Champagne, etc.
Outdoor and adventure experiences are seeing a surge of 33% from India’s women travellers, with Thomas Cook India revealing their strong interest in adrenalin highs of sky diving and white/black water rafting in New Zealand, F1 drives around the Yas Marina circuit, bungee jumping off South Africa’s Bloukrans Bridge, Malaysia’s island to island zip-lining, the Skyline Luge in Sentosa, to outdoor fun while mangrove kayaking in Abu Dhabi, hiking in Canada, self-drives in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand or earning a PADI certification in the Andamans, etc.
Girl Gang Travel: Apart from family breaks, a rising trend is the 25% growth in demand for girl gang travel. While metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are key contributors, tier 2-3 cities of Chandigarh, Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad are emerging well. With milestone celebrations like ‘friendversaries’, bachelorettes, first pay-checks, etc. women are travelling with their BFFs and kitty groups on cruises, for pool parties in Las Vegas, sundowners in Miami, self-drive weekends in Wales/Scotland, high end shopping with a personal shopper in Paris/Dubai, Singapore’s eat street markets, beach breaks at Malaysia’s Redang Island.
Solo Travel: With a demand of 15% from solo women travellers, Thomas Cook India has observed interest primarily from millenials (72% of the pie), driven strongly by experiences, the freedom of planning their trip their way and self-discovery. The preferred choice of first time solo women travellers is destinations closer home like Goa, Hampi, Rann of Kutch, Udaipur, Pondicherry, Coorg, Kovalam. International favourites include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Bhutan (short-haul); France, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland (long haul).
Culture & Cuisine: Thomas Cook India has observed that 20% women are keen to engage with local communities, also indulge in cultural and gastronomic experiences: local village experiences in Laos, creole cooking lessons in Reunion Island, a Le Cordon Bleu programme in Paris, whiskey trails in Japan/Ireland; experiencing local coconut oil production in Bali and cooking with local chefs in Malaysia/Italy’s Tuscany, etc.
Wellness Tourism: With a 26% growth in demand for wellness tourism women travellers are investing in self-care holidays to rejuvenate/ take a break. Stay-cations in city hotels, yoga-ayurveda in Kerala, spa wellness in Indonesia/Fiji; temple-stays amidst Korea’s serene mountains… are some of the popular wellness experiences. Wellness tourism is emerging as a preferred option among travellers in the 30-55 years age group.
Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head Leisure Travel & M.I.C.E, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Women are displaying a strong and growing appetite for travel and at Thomas Cook India we have observed a 32% growth in demand: experience led, group driven (girl gang reunion tours, bachelorette parties, etc.) as well as from solo travellers – pushing us to curate unique itineraries to suit their requirements.
While India’s metros like Bengaluru (23%), Mumbai (20%), Delhi (18%), Hyderabad (15%) are driving demand, Tier 2-3 cities like Chandigarh (23%), Ahmedabad (22%), Nagpur (25%) and Kochi (18%) are also emerging well.