Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 6:09 am

Indians prefer plastic money over cash after demonetization, says travel portal

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NEW DELHI: Increasing number of Indians are using plastic money over cash after government’s decision to ban 500 and 1,000 rupees notes.

Yatra.com, one of India’s leading online travel portals, conducted their annual winter survey which showcases the outlook of Indian travellers planning their holidays this season post demonetization. One of the key findings is the inclination of Indians travellers to use credit/ debit card over cash. 37.4% travellers choose plastic money over cash for making bookings and while travelling. The ban on old 500 and 1000 rupee notes has further led to a significant 57.9% travellers booking through the desktop and a drastic dip in booking through offline agents.

Another observation was that people are preferring to choose budget accommodation over luxury accommodation. Over 38 percent people opted for lodging options under Rs. 4,000, while only 35 percent chose luxury accommodation.

The advance booking streak continues with most people looking at finalizing their plans 15 days to 1 month in advance. Demonetization does not seem to have impacted the spending capacity of travellers, with over 60% willing to spend between Rs. 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

One of the key findings of the survey is a substantial drop in international travel with over 74% respondents willing to travel to domestic destinations. While the deserts and Goa have been highlighted as top choices amongst domestic destinations, Thailand and other islands, top the list of most favoured international destinations. Contrary to last year’s winter survey, spouses/partner was the more obvious choice as travel partners followed by family, friends and solo travel. With the smart phone revolution, there has also been a marked increase in mobile bookings this winter as well.

Commenting on the findings from the survey, Sharat Dhall, COO(B2C), Yatra.com says, “Our winter survey shows that mobile bookings and the preference for budget accommodation are two areas where we are seeing a tremendous surge. Contrary to the usual preference of international destinations, we have seen a number of travellers opting for domestic destinations this winter vacation. With demonetization, the trend of cashless transactions in travel will go up, and this will have significant medium to long term positives for online travel agents like us. To help travellers get over any short term issues of liquidity and provide the convenience of paying later, Yatra is providing the option of booking a holiday using easy EMIs.”

On a lighter note, PM Narendra Modi topped the charts as the most desired celebrity to be travelled with, followed by Donald Trump and Shah Rukh Khan. The survey was conducted amongst 2370 respondents from Yatra’s customer base.

Key Highlights:

  • A “relaxed” winter holiday is on the mind of 71.3 per cent of the travelers.
  • Owing to the impact of demonetization, there is a drop in payment made by cash
  • 4 per cent of the travelers say they take more than 2 vacations in a year.
  • Over 58 per cent of the travelers prefer desktop as their mode of booking
  • 54 per cent say sightseeing is their favorite activity
  • 40 per cent of respondents said that they would like to travel with Shri Narendra Modi74.1 per cent respondents prefer traveling to a domestic destination
  • Around 55% travelers said that they don’t go for travel insurance
  • While Goa is the preferred domestic destination, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are the top international destinations
  • Budget accommodation has seen a significant high and is the preferred choice of most of the travelers
  • More than 60% people are looking to travel for less than a week during the season
  • Around 41% are looking to travel with their partners/spouses

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