Sunbathing attracting Indian tourists: survey

Maldives Promotion House – Sun bathing, beach massages, surfing, swimming and snorkeling are major attractions for Indians to beach destinations, with Delhiites showing the highest propensity for sun bathing among Indian travellers, a survey by Expedia says.

The 2012 Flip Flop Report, an analysis of behaviour and preferences among beachgoers in Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australia, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia adds that Indians have been preferring beach vacations in Goa, Thiland, Maldives, Bali, Malaysia, Miami, Hawaii, Caribbean, California, Brazil, et al.

“As opposed to the perception of high price sensitivity, Indians have been deciding on beach destinations depending on food and beverage availability and novelties,” said Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head at Expedia India.

Delhiites have been preferring international destinations while those from Mumbai chose domestic vacations. Indians however, spend 5.4 days on beach vacation unlike the global average of 7.7 days. Indians place new experiences over relaxation for opting for a beach holiday, the report indicates.

Travel partners at the most recent beach vacation included spouse or partners, friends and parents, in that order. However, India and Brazil have the highest number of beachgoers globally traveling with their parents. Delhiites travel least with parents, the report states.

Tourists from Mumbai rank highest in posing for pictures that they do not want their business associates to see. Tourists from Delhi and Mumbai travel with friends and least with parents.

“When Indian adults were asked to choose between spending time at the beach and spending time with family, among other options, the beach won handily.

“Eighty percent of Indian travelers are already planning to go for a beach vacation within 12 months,” he added.

While the average stays for a beach vacation is 7.7 days globally, Indians fall below average at 5.4 days.

The specific findings for Indians include:

  • Given a choice 30 percent would opt for beach holiday with plenty of relaxation time, and 27 percent for a romantic holiday with spouse/partner.
  • Food and beverage reputation, along with novelty of the destination, have the highest importance, with the total cost of travel ranking at 5th position (71 percent). India ranks highest globally in giving preference to food and beverage. Other factors include fun night life (69 percent) and activities at the beach (67 percent)
  • Seventy-one percent of Indians are prepared to spend Rs. 15,000 or more on a beach trip
  • Over 56 percent now consult magazines, travel sites and research for destinations and 60 percent rely on recommendations from friends, peers or family
  • Sixty-eight percent of Indian women look for a secluded beach environment. (IANS)
In recent years, Maldives has become a popular travel destination in the international market. It has emerged as the playground for Indian celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Pretty Zinta, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Malaika Arora to name a few who regularly visits, while number of Bollywood film makers regularly shoot in Maldives.
The growth rate for travellers from India to Maldives increased by 20% i. e from 25,756 in 2010 to 30,978 in 2011. 2012 figures show a 20% growth in Indian tourists and MMPRC expects to attract 100,000 Indian tourists in the next two years.
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