What’s Driving Luxury Travel Amongst Millennials in India?
Authored by: Arun Ashok (Country Manager - India)
Escapes Club is Luxury Escapes’ tailored brand for India, bringing the World’s Best Holidays to the country’s growing luxury travel market. The site offers a combination of regional and international getaways to its rising member base.
With more than 60% of travelers engaging with Escapes Club falling between the ages of 26 and 40, it’s no wonder that Escapes Club is considered the most authentic source of information regarding luxury travel trends amongst millennials in India.
In order to understand this cohort a little better and differentiate them from the generations that come before and after, we conducted a detailed five-month long research project into their travel habits.
Who is purchasing? Who is researching? Who is influencing?
The answer to all three questions is still very much: men. With 75% of all travel queries coming from males, and an even higher percentage of males contributing to actual transactions, it’s obvious that they continue to dominate the travel market. Albeit, to a lesser extent than Gen X, where men’s contribution increases to 83%. This number drops significantly when you come down to Gen-Z, where more than 30% of enquiries tend to come from females. Therefore, travel marketeers of the future would be wise to distribute their attention across both genders.
Where are they based?
65% of queries from this segment originated from the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru (including micro-markets around them, such as Thane and Gurugram). In the case of older respondents, the population seems to be more evenly distributed across various geographies. Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru contribute to less than 50%, in fact – Gujarat contributes even more than Bengaluru and close to 25% are from various parts other of the country.
Amongst the younger audiences, Gen-Z; Mumbai and Delhi alone contribute to about 75% of the sample survey – however it should be noted that the above statistics could simply be a result of younger populations being more affluent in Delhi/Mumbai than other parts of the country and older populations in smaller cities being able to afford luxury holidays at a later stage in their life.
How does Escapes Club reach out to them?
Millennials sit smack in between Gen-X and Gen-Z when it comes to organically sourced traffic with more than 55% of millennials regularly visiting the website and calling in regarding a deal that they found particularly interesting. The brand loyalty tends to increase, the younger the audience is – this bodes well for Consumer Brand Managers everywhere.
In terms of channels of communication, older generations tend to prefer SMS notifications over everything else, whereas younger generations prefer app notifications, displaying an affinity to use mobile apps – unlike the other cohorts, where apps contribute to negligible shares of traffic. The one channel of communication that throws up a surprise here is email. Close to 10% of Gen-Zers claimed that email communication was the channel that led them to reach out to us and this is much higher than either millennials or Gen-Xers. Could email marketing be coming back in fashion? Millennials, no surprise, are most significantly influenced by digital channels of communication – search / social / bloggers / publisher platforms / etc.
Where do they want to travel?
When it comes to luxury travel, international destinations still rule the roost. Bali, Dubai and Thailand tend to be on the minds of close to 50% of millennial respondents. Factors such as direct flight connectivity and easy visa regulations all help contribute to this trend. Maldives tends to be the next most asked-for destination, despite the exorbitant cost attached to this destination. More than 10% of millennial respondents are looking to travel to Maldives – higher than the generations before or after them, validating the theory that millennials are a generation that don’t mind spending top dollar on luxury travel and can actually afford to do so, unlike those who came before or after them.
The older generation also lists Goa and Rajasthan amongst their top six preferred destinations unlike millennials, indicating their preference to spend money on domestic resorts. Generation Z predictably isn’t in a position to splash money on expensive destinations such as Maldives and Europe and prefers cheaper destinations such as Thailand and Vietnam.
How does Escapes Club target the luxury millennial traveler?
Irrespective of geographic locations, channels of communication and promotional strategies, the key to cracking this specific cohort is good old-fashioned travel content. Our hotels supply team of more than 20 industry veterans partner directly with hotels across the globe to ensure that Escapes Club features the hottest properties in bucket-list destinations with deals that offer more value than anything else in the market, plus incredible VIP inclusions.
This is the common thread between a five-night deal to The Atlantis, Dubai, a seven-night deal in Thailand at Rs. 15,000 per couple and complimentary dinners at a Michelin-starred restaurant as part of a Mayfair London deal. And this is why millennials across India are planning their next holiday on the basis of the next hot deal on Escapes Club.
Interested in learning more travel trends in India? Check out our insights on the rise of outbound travel from India here.