One of the main strengths of Indian economy is the high portion of household savings, unlike in many of the western or emerging countries, which has helped India remain resilient even in a vulnerable global economic scenario. It reflects that Indians have a higher propensity to save. Lately, with rise in the economic strength of its populace and predominantly middle class, many Indian travellers, who now are short of time, have opted out to book last minute overseas holidays. According to recent survey, some 14% of Indian travellers paid an average of 22% more on flight tickets by booking less than a week before travel to the most sought-after destinations in 2017, as revealed by Kayak, a the global travel search engine independently managed subsidiary of The Priceline Group with brands like a portfolio of metasearch brands including momondo, Cheapflights, SWOODOO, checkfelix and Mundi that together process more than two billion consumer queries for travel information a year.
New analysis by KAYAK also shows that Indian travellers risk paying up to 33% more than the average cost for flights to their top destinations in 2018 by waiting until the last minute to book. Flights for Bangkok, Dubai, and Bali, the top three destinations for Indian travellers on KAYAK, cost on average 18%, 22% and 33% more, respectively, in the final week before travel. In fact, last-minute bookings for each of the top ten most-searched destinations incurred travellers at least 10% higher costs, with Singapore at 13% representing the smallest increase on average flight costs during the last week.
Top 10 most-searched destinations of Indian travellers for travel in 2018: Survey
|Ranking||Destinations||Year-on-year change in average flight price (%)||Average price increase for Indian travellers making a last-minute booking|
According to Abhijit Mishra, Country Manager, India of KAYAK, said: “With disposable incomes rising, there are more and more Indian travellers venturing overseas on holiday. In 2017, we have seen a significant percentage of Indian travellers making last-minute bookings at higher-than-average flight prices. In order to save on flights, planning ahead is a simple way for travellers to save money so they can put it to use in their final destination, rather than on an airplane ticket”.
No doubts that Indian travellers are by nature price conscious and the said scenario presents Tour planners a brilliant opportunity to gain back its client base, who otherwise might be booking last minute deals elsewhere or online with benefits of consistent savings.
KAYAK also reveals that there has been a decline in average flight prices for top destinations, year-on-year, owing to falling jet fuel prices & operational costs. Mishra adds “We at KAYAK have developed tools such as Price Alert and Price Forecast in order to help Indian travellers monitor flight prices and decide whether to ‘book now’ or ‘wait’ for a better price. With these travel tools, we hope to help our users plan their trips confidently and avoid costly last-minute price hikes”. The above travel trend data is based on searches made on Kayak during the period 1 January 2017 – 31 October 2017 for travel between 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2018, comparing with the corresponding period in the year before.