Indians Top List for Increased Travel Spend — India Report

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Until recently, travel was seen as a luxury and once-a-year activity by Indians. International trips were even more infrequent. The new generation of Indian travelers is changing that.

Indians have budgeted more for travel in 2024, according to Skyscanner Horizons 2023-2024 report. According to Skyscanner, 63% of Indians are planning to spend more on travel this year, the highest of any country. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is number 2, with 56% of travelers planning to spend more. 

More travel for Indians: Skyscanner’s trend report further revealed that Indians are planning to vacation abroad in greater numbers this year. Indians are also willing to spend on comfort during travel such as upgrading to business or first class or seat selection and access to airport lounges. 

For one in 10 Indian travelers, the cost of activities, such as shopping, is also an important consideration, the report noted.

Indian travelers along with those from the UAE, Spain, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Singapore also said that they are most likely to book on a mobile device.

Chennai Airport to Get DigiYatra Facility This Week

The ministry of civil aviation’s digital initiative for airport check-ins – DigiYatra – is set to be rolled out at the Chennai airport this week. DigiYatra is a digital air travel app that uses facial recognition for quicker processing of passengers at airport entry gate, pre-security gate and boarding gate. According to Indian newspaper, The Hindu, officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said that trial runs for the system were carried out over the last few weeks and no glitches had been reported. 

DigiYatra system is currently operational at 13 airports across India, and can only be used for domestic travel. Processing of international passengers is in its plan, the company has stated on its website. In January this year, the ministry of civil aviation had announced its plans to roll out DigiYatra at 14 more airports, of which Chennai was one. For 2025, the app is slated to be launched at 11 airports.

Nikhil Sharma Joins Radisson Hotel Group as Managing Director for South Asia

Radisson Hotel Group has announced Nikhil Sharma as the managing director and area senior vice president (ASVP) for South Asia. The appointment will come into effect from April 1 this year. Sharma currently serves as the market managing director Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. 

The appointment comes after Zubin Saxena’s movement in January to join Hilton as the India country head. Saxena had been with Radisson for more than eight years. 

Most Indian Travelers Mindful of Sustainable Travel

A survey by online travel platform Agoda has revealed that 87% Indians care about sustainable travel. Travelers added that factors such as financial incentives, availability of sustainable travel packages, as well as guidance on sustainable travel practices could encourage them to make more mindful travel choices. 

Earlier this month, a report by The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), professional services firm KPMG, and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) stated that the sustainable tourism market in India is expected to stand at $151.88 million by 2032. In 2022, this market was valued at $26.01 million. 

Goibibo Unveils Student GoPass Program

Online travel agency Goibibo has unveiled the Student goPass program that allows students to undertake travel on budget. With this pass, the platform aims to provide students with affordable options across domestic hotels, flights, buses, and international hotels and flights. 

Speaking about the initiative, the company’s chief marketing officer Raj Rishi Singh said that India has a student population of more than 150 million. As many of these students migrate domestically and internationally for education, a need for reliable and affordable travel options emerges, he added. 

Air India Commences Self Check-In, Baggage Drop on Bengaluru-San Francisco Sector

Full-service carrier Air India has announced the commencement of self check-in and self baggage drop facilities for passengers flying the Bengaluru-San Francisco sector. The services, which commenced at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport last week, are a part of the airline’s plans to make passenger experience and journey smooth and seamless. 

This facility is already available for domestic Air India flights at the Bengaluru airport. The airline is further working on extending these facilities to passengers flying from Bengaluru on Singapore and Male sectors. 

Donald Hunter, head global airport operations and ground handling, Air India, said that the facility reduces wait time at check-in counters, and thus, the airline has plans to extend this facility for more Air India flights at Indian and international airports.

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