Thomas Cook India and its Group Company SOTC Travel Ltd., have jointly surveyed over 2500 customers across India’s key metros like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and mini-metros like Pune and Tier 2 & 3 source markets, including Jaipur, Lucknow, Madurai, Kochi, Indore, Cuttack, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Surat. The survey reveals insightful customer data, behaviour and travel trends with UAE (Dubai-Abu Dhabi) and Expo 2020 Dubai emerging as a clear driver of international demand for Q4 2021:
With the reopening of borders, vaccine acceptance/easing of restrictions, Indians are displaying a strong travel appetite for UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi). Expo 2020 Dubai, started on October 1, 2021, and continuing up to March 31, 2022, has created a significant opportunity – with over 47% of respondents indicating keen interest to visit the event at least once this year.
The survey reveals the significant Travel desire as 85% of respondents are keen to travel (77% International, 61% domestic) Over 60% indicate clear intent to visit UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai topping the leader board of favourites; also cricket fixtures of IPL & T20.
47% of respondents are likely to visit Expo 2020 at least once between October – December 202157% respondents indicated they would visit the Expo more than once (Oct 2021 – March 2022)Average duration of stay: ranges from 4 – 7 nights and people are willing to spend approx. Rs. 70,000 for a trip of 4 nights to upward of Rs. 250,000 per person for luxury products.
Activities/Experiences at Expo 2020 Dubai are at the top of the Customer Wishlist. Business: Automation presentations/launches, Sustainability ideation, Architectural innovations, Seminars & Summits, Business engagements
MICE: Networking, Award ceremonies & Gala Business Events. Families: Mars-inspired playground, penguin robots, an array of fun activities like an exciting transparent slide, children menus and family-friendly dining options, extravagant fireworks
Couples: Future of space travel, driverless cars, exciting acrobatic and opera shows, robotic bands, walkthrough waterfalls, rivers, mangroves, and wander through streets of famous world cities
Millennials: Workshops by world-renowned chefs, Futuristic Culinary Experiences – Lunch with robots, sensory engagement with innovative technologies, Virgin Hyperloop One simulator experience, healthcare innovations, A.R. Rahman’s Firdaus Orchestra, Expo Beats – shows & performances, Late Nights @ Expo (every Thursday & Friday) & Jalsat @ Expo for people & artists from across the world
Mr Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Our survey highlights strong travel demand for the last quarter 2021, with 60% customers indicating UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai as their top preference; followed by the cricket fixtures of IPL/T20. The survey further reveals strong appeal across a range of traveller segments – from India’s millennials, families, students, and business to our MICE corporate and across India’s metros as well as Tier 2-3 source markets. For industry associations and businesses, Expo 2020 Dubai offers an invaluable platform for ideation, R&D, business and networking. MICE being a strong segment driver, we have designed unique programmes – tailor-made and co-curated based on the interests of specific corporates across Insurance, Automobile, Pharma, e-Commerce, startups & Trade Associations. We are also seeing interest in gala dinners and events at the Expo site itself. In addition to Expo 2020, the exciting cricket fixtures of the T20 World Cup & IPL, have allowed us to combine the two opportunities with a compelling product for the Indian market.”
Mr Daniel D’souza President & Country Head, SOTC Travel said, “As per our survey there is an encouraging travel desire and confidence amongst customers pan-India. The survey reveals positive interest for families to witness this once-in-a-lifetime global mega-event. Expo 2020 Dubai, length of stay trends highlight, customers are looking at longer stay compared to short trips in the past. Over 57% of respondents said they would visit the Expo again along with an increased willingness to spend.
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