India’s Travel Trends: MakeMyTrip Reveals All

MakeMyTrip has revealed its first edition of the India Travel Trends Report which includes where, when and how India travels, top trends from millions of journeys – both from a national and a region-wise perspective.

Taking insights from travel searches by its 100M+ annual active users, MakeMyTrip has put together some of the top behaviours of Indian travellers it the first edition of its India Travel Trends Report. Insights include where, when and how India travels, top trends from millions of journeys – both from a national and a region-wise perspective.

Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip said, “MakeMyTrip’s India Travel Trends Report highlights some the latest essential trends. As India emerges as a formidable force in the tourism sector, these insights can help bridge the demand and supply gaps in the travel and hospitality space. This means crafting policies, identifying destinations, and creating experiences that resonate with the traveller’s unique travel preferences and aspirations. Recognizing and catering to each traveller’s diverse behaviour will not only enhance travel experiences but also contribute significantly to the growth and development of the tourism industry.”

Key Insights from the report are as below –

WHERE INDIA TRAVELS

  • Number of people taking more than 3 trips per year has grown by 25% in 2023 as compared to 2019.
  • Tier-2 and tier-3 cities are embracing spiritual journeys, with searches for destinations with or around religious spots growing 97% in the last two years. 
  • Searches for Ayodhya grew by 585%, Ujjain by 359% and Badrinath by 343% in 2023 as compared to 2022.
  • Weekend getaways continue to curry favour with Indian travellers – Searches for Jim Corbett grew by 131% in 2023 as compared to 2022; Ooty and Munnar are other favourites in this context.
  • 30% all international travel searches from India are for Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore while London, Toronto and New York are the most searched long-haul destinations. 

WHEN, WITH WHOM AND HOW INDIA TRAVELS

  • Family vs Solo – Family travel bookings surged by 64% in 2023 as compared to 2022, followed by solo traveller booking growth at 23% for the same comparative period.
  • Flight booking preferences –
    • 50% of all domestic flyers pick flights between 9am and 6pm irrespective of destination or origin.  
    • A significant portion of travel bookings in India are made spontaneously, with 46% of domestic flights booked less than a week before the travel date. In contrast, about half of all international bookings are made at least two weeks in advance.
    • Only one-third of international bookings are made more than a month before the travel date, suggesting a flexible approach to international travel planning among Indian travellers.
    • Women prefer to pre-book window seats, while men pick aisle seats.
    • Tomato Cucumber Cheese Lettuce Sandwich is the most ordered in-flight meal on domestic flights.
  • Accommodation booking preferences –
    • 56% of domestic leisure hotel bookings on the platform are made less than a week before the day of travel.
    • 33% of international hotel bookings are made at least 30 days before the date of travel.
    • Alternative accommodations on the platform recorded 24% growth in bookings in 2023
    • For Hostels and Apartments, the preference is for those less than INR 2,500 per night but for Villas, it is higher. 
    • Close to 20% of family travellers searched for properties with tariffs over INR 10,000 per night.
  • Payment Preference – UPI is the most preferred payment method for booking travel, making close to 40% of all transaction types, followed by use of credit cards. Credit card is the most used payment mode for high value transactions such as for booking international hotels and flights. This can be attributed to the benefits associated with credit card payments.
  • The gift of travel – Wedding gift cards in the denominations of INR 5000 and 10000 are the most gifted. 1 out of 2 travel gift cards being purchased are being gifted as wedding shagun.