Every winter during Christmas holidays, city-based couple Nishant and Manju Bhatia go on a vacation with their kids. This year, however, even before they could finalse their holiday bookings, the Central government’s demonetisation move put the couple in two minds. Despite the cash crunch, the couple has decided to carry on with the trip and use mostly digital mode of payments during the vacations.
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As per the annual winter survey done by yatra.com, an online travel portal, there has been a substantial rise in the travellers prefering plastic money over cash post demonetisation. The survey, which throws light on the outlook of Indian travellers post demonetisation, reveals that 37.4 per cent travellers from across the country preferred cash transactions over cash for making bookings.
The survey also suggests that the ban on old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has further led to a significant 57.9 per cent travellers booking through the desktop while there has been a drastic dip in booking through offline agents. Nearly 2,500 respondents from 12 cities in the country participated in the survey, including Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Chennai, New Delhi and Hyderabad, among others.
Commenting on the findings from the survey, Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), yatra.com, says, “Our winter survey shows that mobile bookings and the preference for budget accommodation are two areas where we are seeing a tremendous surge. Contrary to the usual preference of international destinations, we have seen a number of travellers opting for domestic destinations this winter. With demonetisation, the trend of cashless transactions in travel will go up, and this will have significant medium to long term positives for online travel agents like us.”
Another observation made by survey is that travellers were more keen on opting for budget accommodation over luxury accommodation. Over 38 per cent respondents opted for lodging options under Rs. 4,000, while 35 per cent chose luxury accommodation.
An key finding in the survey highlights that there has been a substantial drop in international travel with over 74 per cent respondents willing to travel to domestic destinations. While Goa continues to be the top domestic destination for travellers, Thailand tops the list of most favoured international destination. Demonetisation does not seem to have impacted the spending capacity of travellers, with over 60 per cent willing to spend between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.