“Do it for the gram” seems to be the new motto all around. People are undertaking do-it-yourself projects, restaurants are designing aesthetically-pleasing dishes and designers are creating spaces with Instagram-worthy backdrops.
And travel is no different.
The once budget-conscious Indian traveller now has an equally—or perhaps more—important box to tick when choosing accommodation: it must look good on Instagram, Facebook, and other such platforms.
“(A) staggering 94% of respondents consider social media when booking an accommodation…Whether it’s for traveller reviews, recommendations, or just pictures of the home..,” hospitality aggregator Airbnb revealed in its first-ever India Travel Trends Survey.
Airbnb surveyed 10,000 respondents aged between 18 years and 54 years across 10 Indian cities in July 2018, including those who travelled domestically and abroad.
A 2017 survey by travel bookings site Kayak found that, among Asia-Pacific travellers, Indians posted the most—both during and after a trip—on social media, averaging 10 posts per trip.
Where’s my wifi?
With over 460 million Indians already online and many more joining every day, the country’s holidaymakers are deeply dependent on the web, be it to tweet or to check office mails. In 2015, a survey by Hotels.com revealed that over half of Indian guests expect free wifi as a standard offering at hotels.
At Airbnb locations, free wifi was the most-requested indoor amenity for 47% of the respondents. The most sought-after outdoor one was the pool.
Most of these vacations are family trips, not solo, according to Airbnb.
“India is witnessing a considerable rise in family travel and the survey noted that nearly 51% of Indian travellers opted for family-friendly amenities such as playsets, garden areas, activity zones, TV, and access to books as the most important amenities while choosing an accommodation,” the survey found. For older travellers, between the ages of 45 and 54, this figure was a higher 66%.
“All over India, we are noticing a new era of travel and hospitality, with consumers who are sure of their preferences, now more than ever before,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, country manager for Airbnb.
These trends are evolving as more and more Indians are travelling.
Domestic Indian tourism climbed 39% between 2016 and 2017, and international travel spiked 60%. Around 25 million Indians take trips abroad every year. This may cross 50 million in two years, the UN World Tourism Organisation predicts.