Remember when we were kids and we had a globe in the classroom (or at home) and we would spin it and place our finger on one destination and learn more about it? Oh, and when someone asked what you want to see in the world and where you want to be; our answers were everything and everywhere. Does it ring a bell? Cut to 2024, the Everywhere part is made possible by Skyscanner. Their travel tool, deemed as one of the handiest travel hacks, lets you go anywhere and everywhere all while on a budget.
Travel is a big industry and new experiences for Indian travellers (with their new money and wanderlusting zeal) are in burgeoning demand. Where there is demand, there is supply. So, we caught hold of Mohit Joshi, Skyscanner’s Travel and Destination Expert, to shed light on travel trends, Everywhere Agency, and how Skyscanner is fulfilling the ever-increasing travel demand amongst Indian travellers.
Q: Can you provide more details about the functionality and purpose of Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ search feature? How are Indian travellers utilising the tool to book?
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A: Skyscanner makes it possible for travellers to explore the world within their budget, with its cross-market comparison and transparency of prices on its platform. An easy hack to hit that sweet spot is to use our ‘Everywhere’ search tool, which helps travellers explore destinations, ordered by price, from thousands of travel sites – all in one place.
According to data from Skyscanner, Indians’ passion for global exploration has reached unprecedented heights in 2024, with mounting early interest in travel indicated in its data. In the last week of 2023, the search volume for overseas travel by Indian travellers increased by 39% compared to last year.
If you are uncertain about the destination or in the mood to explore new locations, travellers can discover the cheapest places to go to and find great deals on their chosen destinations by selecting ‘Everywhere’ as their destination.
Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ search tool is the most sought-after feature, not only keeping travellers inspired but also ensuring they stay within their budget. As mentioned earlier, the ‘Everywhere’ search is currently the most searched destination for Indian travellers. It emphasises the desire to explore regardless of the location of origin. Other popular destinations for Indians include Dubai, Bangkok, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Looking ahead to 2024, a remarkable 98% of Indian travellers are keen to try somewhere new, while 42% share that one of their biggest struggles when planning travel is deciding where to go. In a survey conducted by Skyscanner, it is revealed that despite social media, TV, and film perpetuating conventional tourist spots, 95% feel fatigued by those repeated choices. 79% of Indian travellers admit that the prospect of booking travel in 2024 is overwhelming, with 40% citing cost concerns and an equal percentage grappling with destination decisions.
Q: What is the concept of ‘Everywhere Agency’ campaign, and who are the individuals referred to as ‘Everywhere’ agents? How does this campaign benefit travellers?
A: Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere Agency’ is the world’s first pop-up travel consultancy connecting travellers with record-breaking travellers who have visited every country in the world. This has been inspired by Skyscanner’s search tool ‘Everywhere’ which not only helps users discover countless travel destinations sorted by price but is also the most searched-for destination by Indian travellers on Skyscanner.
The Everywhere Agency is manned by travellers referred to as Everywhere Agents. The Everywhere Agents are highly experienced globetrotters who will play a pivotal role in alleviating traditional traveller anxiety about unknown destinations and help consumers discover the less-travelled places that offer everything they want or need without compromising on value.
In India, we have engaged leading travel expert, Anunay Sood as the Everywhere Agent. He has travelled to over 30 countries by the age of 30 and will be able to share the insights gained from personal travel adventures, offering invaluable tips on destination selection, budgeting, and crafting the perfect itinerary. Other Everywhere Agents include individuals like Gunnar Garfors, the first person to visit every country in the world twice, and Renee Burns, a world record holder for travelling to the most countries in a year, in a wheelchair.
Travellers can explore tips offered by the Everywhere Agents through the Everywhere Guide, or via 1:1 exclusive virtual appointment. They can easily access the Everywhere Guide, an online widget on Skyscanner, that shares responses to frequently asked travel questions, based on each Everywhere Agent’s personal experience. Questions include “Where’s the most memorable night out?”, “Where should everyone try a once-in-a-lifetime activity?”, and more.
The Everywhere Guide also displays a Trip Snapshot for every suggested destination, showing the lowest flight and hotel prices, and the cheapest day to travel, for any selected month of 2024. These will all help travellers conveniently complete trip bookings for their newly discovered destination.
Q: From your perspective, what is the anticipated outlook for the travel industry in India in the year 2024? Could you tell us more about the anticipated travel trends and the primary preferences of Indian travellers in 2024? What factors are influencing their travel preferences and choices?
A: The priority of Indian travellers in 2024 is clear – they are actively seeking diverse cultural experiences and travel behaviours are shifting towards cultural exploration and ‘being in the moment.’ The travel preferences of Indian travellers reflect an unprecedented enthusiasm to explore the world – our data shows that there’s been a recent surge in overseas travel searches in the first week of January, up by 39% compared to the same period last year.
98% of Indian travellers have said that they are keen to try somewhere different this year so there’s a strong desire to discover new destinations. Travellers have progressed from ‘revenge travel’ to ‘passion travel’, and we are seeing a further evolution of ‘passion travel’ to ‘pursuits travel’, where travellers have a bucket list in mind.
The Skyscanner Travel Trends report highlights that in 2024, we will see more people travelling based on the inspiration they get from their favourite movies or films. For example, 47% of Indians are inspired to travel to Ladakh after watching 3 Idiots. In fact, 42% of Indian travellers want to experience Paris like Emily Cooper, as seen in Emily in Paris. Following the launch of season 3’s launch at the end of December 2022, Skyscanner saw a 23% increase in searches from India to Paris in January compared to the previous month. We will also see more people travelling to catch experiences overseas. The recent Taylor Swift Eras concert announcement is one such example. For instance, one-third of Indian (37%) travellers would fly short haul to see their favourite artist live with a huge 79% considering attending a concert overseas instead in 2024 if it would help them save money.
Food is also a key travel inspiration for Indians and that is something that will not go away. Our report shows that 59% of Indians have booked a destination purely based on a specific restaurant they want to visit.
Lastly, our report shows that sleep is still one of the most important factors to influence travellers in 2024. Sleep tourism is bigger than ever and 85% of Indian travellers are more mindful of their sleep health today as compared to a few years ago. Moreover, 66% of Indian travellers have reported experiencing improved sleep quality during their holidays.
Q: Which destinations are being searched for more?
A: ‘Everywhere’ search is the most searched destination for Indian travellers currently, highlighting the desire to explore regardless of the location of origin. This means that you get to explore new locations, discover the cheapest places to go to and score great deals on the chosen destinations by selecting ‘Everywhere’ as your destination. No surprise that other popular destinations include Dubai, Bangkok, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Q: When booking in advance, what is an ideal lead time to book flights for popular regions?
A: The ideal time to book flight tickets is dependent on various factors including your booking and travel dates. Our analysis shows that flight prices go through a weekly cycle. Typically, the lowest prices are made available earlier in the week, and the highest prices are offered later in the week. Flights that take off and land on weekends, or Mondays and Fridays generally cost more. Tuesdays are usually the best bet.
That said, there are also other ways travellers can land a flight deal. For example, some flexibility can go very far in getting a great bargain.
- Travellers can use Skyscanner’s ‘Whole Month’ search tool to find the cheapest day to travel to a destination, of course, if they are flexible with flying dates. Our ‘Cheapest Month’ feature will show you the absolute cheapest month of the year to visit when searching for ‘flexible dates’. After you’ve selected the cheapest month, you’ll then be able to see the cheapest day to fly in your chosen month.
- Travellers can also set up ‘Price Alerts’ for the route you want to watch, if you have fixed travel dates and a fixed destination, and Skyscanner will notify you as soon as the price changes.
- Lastly, if travellers are flexible with the destination, the “Everywhere” search is the best way to explore destinations based on your budget. Simply enter your desired travel dates and the search results will come back with destinations based on your departure location, ranked by price.
Q: Is there a Visa guide section for each destination for Indian travellers?
A: Travel documentation requirements change frequently, so it is advisable for travellers to check with their airline or their destination country’s local Embassy or Consulate before booking tickets. Recently, many countries including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and more have updated their visa requirements for Indian travellers as well.
Q: With COVID on the rise again, what are the anticipated trends there? And is there any advisory that is supplemented during search or booking?
A: Indian travellers are showcasing an unparalleled eagerness for worldwide explorations. As mentioned, our data shows a recent surge in overseas travel searches by Indian travellers, up by 38% compared to the first week of January last year. Our Travel Trends 2024 report also revealed that 86% of Indian travellers are looking to take more trips this year compared to last year. A significant driving force behind these preferences is the strong desire among Indian travellers to explore new destinations. This is a clear sign that the travel industry is on the rise.
However, regardless of where you are travelling to, it is always advisable to stay informed about relevant health and safety guidelines for a safe and smooth travel. Prioritising hygiene practices and carrying a mask everywhere are some practical steps to stay safe whilst travelling.
So, are you ready to go everywhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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