Indian women have evolved from the traditional “mother figure” to key influencers of family vacations, and they are today clearly taking the reins on decision-making when it comes to travel. And it’s not just when it comes to family vacations, but women are also making an undeniable mark when it comes to solo, group and even business or b-leisure travel.
The women traveller segments that are seeing strong uptake include kitty-party groups, best-friend-forever tours, bachelorette trips, and ad hoc groups.
Thomas Cook India has observed a substantial growth of 33% in queries from the women travellers segment- across domestic and international travel. While 50% of queries/ bookings received are from women from metros and mini-metros, significant growth of has been emerging from Tier 2 & 3 markets such as Guntur, Nashik, Nagpur, Vijaywada, Chandigarh, Nagpur and Coimbatore.
It is a myth that India’s women travellers only indulge in shopping while travelling. Data available with Thomas Cook India indicates that women travellers are among those who have a penchant for adventure – whether it is bungee jumping in South Africa, kayaking in Abu Dhabi’s mangroves, scuba diving in the Andamans, the world’s longest zip-lining in Ras Al Khaimah or black water rafting in New Zealand, sandboarding/dune bashing in Dubai. In addition, they equally prefer immersing themselves in local, authentic experiences centered around traditions, customs and cultures of a destination eg cooking with a local chef in Malaysia, muay thai/kick boxing in Thailand. Another set of activities that has seen takers among women travellers is wellness, right from spa experiences to yoga classes from Korea, Jordan, and Bali to Thailand. In fact, women have been instrumental in introducing wellness experiences to the rest of their family.
Cruising is also emerging a favourite with women travellers in India with a growth of over 37%
The travel habits of corporate Indian women are changing. With a significant number of women in the corporate travel segment, it has been observed that it is common for them to extend their stay by aprox 2-3 days to experience the destination at leisure. This trend of B-leisure travel among women has become increasingly popular over the last two years- seeing a growth of over 27%.
Following strong demand for customised holidays and niche experiences driven by women travellers, Thomas Cook India has been at the forefront of creating customised packages that cover a range of destinations like Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala. On the international front France, Spain-Portugal, USA, the UK and short haul favourites like Hong Kong-Macau, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore & Bali are the year-round favourites with particular preference towards experiences that allow them to get a local flavor of the destination, like Nanta Thai cooking show in Thailand, from nature trails and a tree-top walk at Singapore’s MacRichie Reservoir or cultural walking tours to cuisine and wine experiences in France and Italy.