The past two years have been a roller coaster. But it has also been a great show of vigour and resilience - be it fighting at the frontlines, fast-paced inoculation drives, or the confidence to step out and explore mother nature
As soon as the world opened up, travellers hit the roads and took to the skies. And no, we’re not just saying this by intuition or what we’ve been seeing on our late-night Instagram scrolls! OYO has conducted a consumer survey to study travel intent and expectations among its user base across some of its core markets, including India, Indonesia and Europe, bringing to you OYO’s fourth year-end annual index - ‘OYO Travelopedia 2021’.
From workcations dominating 2021, to exploring domestic offbeat destinations, to doom scrolling on Instagram and travelling more in 2022, the report maps how consumers travelled in 2021 and their resolutions for 2022. So without further ado, here we go.
2020 was a tough year. Families and friends were unable to meet each other for birthdays and milestones, students couldn’t travel back home for festive celebrations, and friends shared dinners over video calls. But 2021 was somewhat different. According to OYO Travelopedia, nearly 65% of respondents have travelled in the past 6 months and a majority of them visited their loved ones. Some also needed a getaway from their daily routines and travelled for leisure. A few had to keep the economy going and they travelled for business needs.
India is a resilient country - and with mass vaccination drives, travel intent and confidence is back! 60% of respondents have planned vacations for the winter holiday season. However, most seem to plan their trip closer to the date. Nearly 31% said they plan their trips a month in advance, whereas 26% prefer planning their travel only a week in advance. This is a stark contrast from pre-COVID days.
Hills > Beaches > Off the beaten track
The hills vs beach choice is still balanced with 35% of respondents preferring a trip to mountainous regions, whereas 24% prefer beach destinations. But the highest takers at 53% said they are very likely to explore offbeat domestic destinations. Roadtrips still continue to be a big hit among Indians. Over half the respondents said they would travel by private or rental cars, 35% said they were just as fine to hop on a bus or a train, and a mere 14% were happy to take a flight. Hotels were the top choice of accommodation among users, with approx. 60% opting for it, followed by a preference for resorts and waterfront properties by a lakeside, river or beach.
And it’s almost time to ring in 2022! So how does India plan to celebrate? India seems to be on the fence about this one. While 44% said they would, without a hitch, enjoy the new year with family and friends, another 44% said they would love to travel with family and friends.
Whatever India does, one thing’s for sure, it’s going to be with ‘family & friends’. Well, we’re truly and proudly a collectivist society, aren’t we? Hell yes! But hey, around 9% Indians also opted to go #solo and travel - a soul searching this New Years.
Workcation > Work, travel, repeat
2020 changed the world. And 2021 was all about adapting and making up for lost vacations while working remotely. According to OYO Travelopedia 2021, nearly 48% Indians worked from home during the year, out of which a whopping 85% preferred taking workcations or working away from home in a scenic location. And out of these, 61% took a workcation. What’s more interesting? Nearly 27% took a month-long workcation. Hill stations ranked top on the list of spots for these Work x Travel trips, followed by many who visited their hometowns and beach destinations. Kudos to 2021, the year of digital nomads!
And with New Years, come New Year RESOLUTIONS. OYO asked respondents about their new year resolutions around travel. And here’s what the company discovered.
With nearly 30% votes, India’s top resolution is to travel more in 2022, followed by 18% who would love to try to visit their family and friends who they haven’t been able to meet due to travel restrictions. Another 18% would love to try and explore a new destination every few months. 15% also said they would like to invest in travel by opening a savings account solely for travelling purposes. Other top resolutions included travelling solo, using up all annual leaves, taking international trips and eco-conscious travel. 32% of Indians said they will try to take a vacation atleast twice a year. Another 20% aim to go atleast once a year, and on the other hand, 22% travellers (who are truly ambitious) would like to hop on the wanderlust bus atleast once a month. Oh wait. Did we forget to mention that 6% would like to be on vacation for 365 days in 2022? Sounds like a plan!
Similar to India, around 80% respondents in the Netherlands and 51% in Denmark travelled to mountainous regions across Europe. As per OYO’s consumer survey in the two regions, in 2021, the Dutch and the Danish mostly travelled for leisure, followed by business or work-related travel.
The data further highlights that Europeans chose to spend their holidays cozying up at home. Interestingly, unlike India, over 70% of respondents from Europe said that they prefer planning their trips at least 3 months in advance. A majority of respondents in the Netherlands prefer taking a week-long travel break, whereas the Danish prefer taking longer trips spread across 10 days or more. Interestingly, unlike other countries, Europe is not prone to doom scrolling travel content on social media and instead get their travel inspiration from family and friends.
In Denmark, the secluded countryside and towns were the top destination types, whereas, in the Netherlands, respondents opted for hilly regions. In addition, approximately 77% of Dutch and 80% of Danish respondents opted for roadtrips as their favorite way to commute. Clearly, over the past year or so, both regions have absolutely fallen in love with road tripping. The survey also indicates that Europeans have a preference for vacation homes over hotels. With the beautiful North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east, boathouses emerged as the second top accommodation option among the Danish.
So what’s Europe’s most popular New Year’s resolution when it comes to travel in 2022?
About 33% of the respondents from Denmark said they wish to travel more in 2022. The second most popular on Denmark’s list is to explore a new destination every few months, followed by intentions to visit family and friends that one couldn’t meet for the past year due to travel restrictions. In the Netherlands, respondents pledged to travel abroad and travel more in general in the coming year.
From the beaches of Bali to the lively streets of Jakarta, Indonesia is a treasure trove of culture and natural beauty. No wonder OYO Travelopedia reveals that Bali tops charts as the country’s top wishlisted destination for 2022!
As per the survey findings, leisure vacation and business-related travel were the top reasons why Indonesians travelled in 2021. A majority of respondents have already locked in their plans for the upcoming holiday season, indicating a steady bounce back in confidence among the people. A majority of respondents also prefer planning their trips at least a month in advance. However, compared to other regions, Indonesia prefers taking shorter trips, with 75% of respondents indicating their preference for trips between 1 to 3 days. When it comes to stays, travellers have a strong preference for hotels as a key choice of accommodation.
Surrounded by beautiful beaches and islands, Indonesians indicated a preference for spending their vacations across beach destinations. Similar to other geographies, Indonesia prefers travelling by road. More than a third of the respondents opted to travel by cars or a motorbike.
What’s Indonesia’s most popular New Year resolution? Nearly 25% of respondents opted to meet family and loved ones, making it Indonesia’s most pledged resolution for 2022. ‘Saving money to travel’ ranked a distant second. 15% of respondents also said that they will try to explore new destinations every few months.