40 per cent of travelers based in India intend to “go solo” when they travel, as compared to 25 per cent of Asia Pacific travelers, reveals a recent study by Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program of Hilton.
The research – surveying close to 1,120 avid travelers aged between 20-45 in India and segmented by life stage – explored the travel motivations, aspirations and expectations of the country’s most active travelers. The primary motivation for 66 per cent of these intrepid travelers is to experience “life-changing moments” that push them out of their comfort zone and challenge them to think differently.
“Travel is undoubtedly an important part of life for Indians, across all life stage segments,” said Manish Tolani, Vice President and Commercial Director, India, Hilton. “They take more trips overseas than their Asia Pacific counterparts and for them, travel plays a formative part in shaping their personality and identity. Solo Travelers, in particular, also recognize that their travel objectives have changed. By traveling to a new destination on their own, the sense of complete freedom encourages them to discover themselves.”
The study revealed they pursue more authentic travel experiences that allow them to travel consciously. Experiences in nature top the list of things Indian Solo Travelers are seeking more of (68%), followed by sustainability (67%). Solo Travelers are also more likely than other Indian travelers to seek ways to nurture their spirituality (66%) and embark on volunteering opportunities (62%).
According to the study, the Singles segment of Indian travelers appear to be prioritizing wellness and self-care – as compared to Couples, they are more likely to seek out experiences not only in nature, but also try their hand at sports, outdoor adventures and wellness activities. For example, 70% of Singles surveyed seek out wellness experiences at their travel destinations, as compared to 63% of Couples.
Australia is the most popular overseas destination in the Asia Pacific region for Indian travelers across all segments, with other destinations falling far behind. According to the study, the top destination Indian travelers are most excited to visit in the next 12 months is Australia (31%), compared to Europe (13%), Singapore (11%), Malaysia (7%) and New Zealand (6%). In Australia, Indian Solo Travelers are more likely to be interested in destinations that are off the beaten track, such as Cairns and Byron Bay. Beautiful beaches and spectacular natural landscapes are key draws to Australia for these travelers.
As frequent travelers, Indian Solo Travelers look for unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and are drawn towards outstanding natural beauty and sustainable options. The study also revealed that two in three Solo Travelers say they like to be recognized as travel experts. However, most Solo Travelers (95%) find the planning process overwhelming, so seek out recommendations from travel agents, online reviews or loved ones on the most interesting things to see and do in a destination.
“It’s clear that travel is no longer just about a beach getaway or an overseas shopping spree. Travelers are on a mission to collect as many adventures and unique experiences as possible. This isn’t just because they want shareworthy content to post online, but also because they want to feel productive and that they’ve made the most of their time. By constantly engaging in new experiences, going to new places, and stepping outside of their norm, they feel that they’re regularly progressing in becoming more well-rounded as well as more knowledgeable individuals,” said Sarah Somerville, Senior Director, Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Hilton.