The past two years have been a roller coaster. But it has also been a great show of vigour and resilience – be it fighting at the frontlines, fast-paced inoculation drives, or the confidence to step out and explore mother nature. It’s clear that if there’s one thing that’s on people’s minds, the rising and ebbing tide of COVID notwithstanding, it’s travel. As soon as the world opened up, travellers hit the roads and took to the skies. And no, we’re not just saying this by intuition or what we’ve been seeing on our late night Instagram scrolls! We’ve conducted a consumer survey to study travel intent and expectations among our user base across some of our core markets, including India, Indonesia and Europe; bringing to you our fourth year-end annual index – ‘OYO Travelopedia 2021’.
From workcations dominating 2021, to exploring domestic offbeat destinations, to doom scrolling on Instagram and travelling more in 2022, our report maps how consumers travelled in 2021 and their resolutions for 2022. So without further ado, here we go!
2020 was a tough year. Families and friends were unable to meet each other for birthdays and milestones, students couldn’t travel back home for festive celebrations, and friends shared dinners over video calls. But 2021 was somewhat different. According to OYO Travelopedia, nearly 65% of respondents have travelled in the past 6 months and a majority of them visited their loved ones. Some also needed a getaway from their daily routines and travelled for leisure. A few had to keep the economy going and they travelled for business needs.
India is a resilient country – and with mass vaccination drives, travel intent and confidence is back! 60% of respondents have planned vacations for the winter holiday season. However, most seem to plan their trip closer to the date. Nearly 31% said they plan their trips a month in advance, whereas 26% prefer planning their travel only a week in advance. This is a stark contrast from pre-COVID days.
- As per data from Sensor Tower, among travel mobile application, OYO users spent 3,232 years’ worth of time on the OYO app in India – the highest in India in FY2021
- Subah-Sham. Quite literally. The most popular time to make bookings on the OYO app were 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM and evening 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
- Fan Alert: A travel agent from India made 1193 bookings for an OYO in 2021
- Our biggest booking was by a user from Delhi who booked an OYO for 36 people for 72 nights
Hills > Beaches > Off the beaten track
The hills vs beach choice is still balanced with 35% of respondents preferring a trip to mountainous regions, whereas 24% prefer beach destinations. But the highest takers at 53% said they are very likely to explore offbeat domestic destinations. Roadtrips still continue to be a big hit among Indians. Over half the respondents said they would travel by private or rental cars, 35% said they were just as fine to hop on a bus or a train, and a mere 14% were happy to take a flight. Hotels were the top choice of accommodation among users, with approx. 60% opting for it, followed by a preference for resorts and waterfront properties by a lakeside, river or beach.
And it’s almost time to ring in 2022! So how does India plan to celebrate? India seems to be on the fence about this one. While 44% said they would, without a hitch, enjoy the new year with family and friends, another 44% said they would love to travel with family and friends.
Whatever India does, one thing’s for sure, it’s going to be with ‘family & friends’. Well, we’re truly and proudly a collectivist society, aren’t we? Hell yes! But hey, around 9% Indians also opted to go #solo and travel – a soul searching this New Years.
Workcation > Work, travel, repeat
2020 changed the world. And 2021 was all about adapting and making up for lost vacations while working remotely. According to OYO Travelopedia 2021, nearly 48% Indians worked from home during the year, out of which a whopping 85% preferred taking workcations or working away from home in a scenic location. And out of these, 61% took a workcation. What’s more interesting? Nearly 27% took a month-long workcation. Hill stations ranked top on the list of spots for these Work x Travel trips, followed by many who visited their hometowns and beach destinations. Kudos to 2021, the year of digital nomads!
Okay. So here’s a little throwback. All of us are guilty of spending way too much time on social media. Did doom scrolling travel content during the pandemic get the best of you?
Turns out 54% of Indians were guilty as charged. Nearly 50% of Indians said they turned to social media platforms to seek inspiration for their next trip, with over 52% claiming Instagram as their top choice, followed by Facebook and YouTube. 35% were old-school and continued seeking inspiration from their family and friends.
And with New Years, come New Year RESOLUTIONS. OYO asked respondents about their new year resolutions around travel. And here’s what the company discovered.
With nearly 30% votes, India’s top resolution is to travel more in 2022, followed by 18% who would love to try to visit their family and friends who they haven’t been able to meet due to travel restrictions. Another 18% would love to try and explore a new destination every few months. 15% also said they would like to invest in travel by opening a savings account solely for travelling purposes. Other top resolutions included travelling solo, using up all annual leaves, taking international trips and eco-conscious travel. 32% of Indians said they will try to take a vacation atleast twice a year. Another 20% aim to go atleast once a year, and on the other hand, 22% travellers (who are truly ambitious) would like to hop on the wanderlust bus atleast once a month. Oh wait. Did we forget to mention that 6% would like to be on vacation for 365 days in 2022? Sounds like a plan!
Now that our travel resolutions are sorted… What does travel look like in 2022?
In 2022, 61% Indians would prefer to go local and explore domestic destinations, while 25% would like the best of both worlds and try to take both, international and domestic trips.
We all have a favorite travel buddy. So who would you like to split your travel bills with in 2022?
37% respondents said they would like to travel with their spouses/partners, whereas 19% would love to take that much awaited vacation with close friends. 16% said they would like to go on a family vacation, and 12% opted for solo backpacking. A good 16% of respondents said they would like it all!
Now that we know your travel companion, let’s address the make or break question – “View kya hai?”
No surprises here. A third of respondents would love an accommodation surrounded by nature. At 31%, this was very closely followed by travellers who prefer locations with lively nightlife. Other top attractions included the ones for the ‘tourist at heart’ kind of traveller, who chose proximity to tourist attractions like monuments, forts, etc. Attractions also included proximity to airports, train stations and food trails.
And finally, the top bucket list destination!
Watching the sunset, getting your feet wet at the beach, and sipping on cocktails. Sounds like a plan? Well, for most. Goa tops a third of the respondents’ 2022 bucket lists. This is followed by Manali, Dubai, Shimla and Kerala. Other international destinations on India’s bucket list include Maldives, Paris, Bali, Switzerland, among others.
Yes, people are excited to travel again. But safety continues to be key. OYO Travelopedia highlights that 85% respondents said that the arrival of vaccine boosters would definitely give them reassurance to travel.
Similar to India, around 80% respondents in the Netherlands and 51% in Denmark travelled to mountainous regions across Europe. As per our consumer survey in the two regions, in 2021, the Dutch and the Danish mostly travelled for leisure, followed by business or work-related travel.
The data further highlights that Europeans chose to spend their holidays cozying up at home. Interestingly, unlike India, over 70% of respondents from Europe said that they prefer planning their trips at least 3 months in advance. A majority of respondents in the Netherlands prefer taking a week-long travel break, whereas the Danish prefer taking longer trips spread across 10 days or more. Interestingly, unlike other countries, Europe is not prone to doom scrolling travel content on social media and instead get their travel inspiration from family and friends.
In Denmark, the secluded countryside and towns were the top destination types, whereas, in the Netherlands, respondents opted for hilly regions. In addition, approximately 77% of Dutch and 80% of Danish respondents opted for roadtrips as their favorite way to commute. Clearly, over the past year or so, both regions have absolutely fallen in love with road tripping. The survey also indicates that Europeans have a preference for vacation homes over hotels. With the beautiful North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east, boathouses emerged as the second top accommodation option among the Danish.
So what’s Europe’s most popular New Year’s resolution when it comes to travel in 2022?
About 33% of the respondents from Denmark said they wish to travel more in 2022. The second most popular on Denmark’s list is to explore a new destination every few months, followed by intentions to visit family and friends that one couldn’t meet for the past year due to travel restrictions. In the Netherlands, respondents pledged to travel abroad and travel more in general in the coming year.
In 2022, Europe is set to take more roadtrips with family and friends, followed by luxury travel. OYO Travelopedia also reveals that accommodation surrounded by nature ranked the topmost among consumers in Europe. Accommodations with proximity to monuments and forts ranked second in order of priority.
What’s on your bucket list, Europe? Denmark’s top bucket list destinations in 2022 include Bornholm, Italy, Denmark, Spain and Thailand. Top 5 destinations on Netherland’s bucket list include Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy and France.
From the beaches of Bali to the lively streets of Jakarta, Indonesia is a treasure trove of culture and natural beauty. No wonder OYO Travelopedia reveals that Bali tops charts as the country’s top wishlisted destination for 2022!
As per the survey findings, leisure vacation and business-related travel were the top reasons why Indonesians travelled in 2021. A majority of respondents have already locked in their plans for the upcoming holiday season, indicating a steady bounce back in confidence among the people. A majority of respondents also prefer planning their trips at least a month in advance. However, compared to other regions, Indonesia prefers taking shorter trips, with 75% of respondents indicating their preference for trips between 1 to 3 days. When it comes to stays, travellers have a strong preference for hotels as a key choice of accommodation.
Surrounded by beautiful beaches and islands, Indonesians indicated a preference for spending their vacations across beach destinations. Similar to other geographies, Indonesia prefers travelling by road. More than a third of the respondents opted to travel by cars or a motorbike.
What’s Indonesia’s most popular New Year resolution? Nearly 25% of respondents opted to meet family and loved ones, making it Indonesia’s most pledged resolution for 2022. ‘Saving money to travel’ ranked a distant second. 15% of respondents also said that they will try to explore new destinations every few months.
As per the survey, a majority of respondents would like to take vacations twice a year on average. In Indonesia, a whopping 76% of respondents said that they would opt for domestic travel taking international trips. The survey also highlights that Indonesians prefer staying in cities or towns with historical significance. 72% of respondents admitted that they were guilty of spending long hours browsing travel content on social media. Nearly 80% said that they look for travel inspiration on social media, with Instagram emerging their go-to app. 79% Indonesians said they would feel much more confident to travel by strengthening their immunity against the virus with vaccine boosters. Indonesia’s bucket list includes Bali, Lombok, Yogyakarta, Gunung and Bandung.
**Unless otherwise stated, the industry related information included in this Travelopedia has been derived from consumer surveys conducted by us to study travel intent and expectations among our user base across core markets, including India, Indonesia and Europe in December 2021 which included 2844 participants.