New Delhi: Expedia®, a leading full service online travel company, recently released the results of the 2017 Flip Flop Survey, an analysis of behaviour and preferences amidst beachgoers in Asia Pacific, Europe, North and South America. The survey highlights interesting findings regarding Indians’ preference and behaviour towards beach holidays.
Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia in India said, “Flip-Flop Survey 2017 brings forth an interesting shift in preference of the Indian travellers while choosing a vacation destination. Till about a couple of years ago, the top factor was always the overall cost and discounts, which has now been replaced by larger concerns like safety and cleanliness, further driven by great weather conditions and positive reviews from fellow travellers. Besides this, there is a rising trend for selecting destinations with baby-sitting services and kids-friendly/family-friendly activities, so that the couple also gets to spend some lone time together.”
“Social media is emerging as strong driving force in creating vacation happiness with Indians being #1 in always- taking selfies (22%), posting photos on social media (22%), ‘checking in’ on social media (21%) and connecting with others through social media (19%). The survey also highlights that 24% Indians are social media obsessed beachgoers who spend the majority of their time uploading pictures and video to social media” he added.
Top 3 bucket-list beach destinations for Indians: Waikiki, Hawaii – 26%; Bondi, Australia – 23%; Paradise beach, Greece & Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 16%
Important factors for Indians while deciding the vacation destination: Has safe beaches (95%; #3 globally), has clean beaches (94%); has great weather all or most of the time (93%; #4 globally), positive reviews from fellow travellers (91%; #1 globally), total cost of vacation (89%), is a destination with plenty of activities and things to do (88%; #2 globally), travel time to destination (85%), whether destination is kids-friendly with family-friendly activities/ has baby-sitting services (83%, #1 globally), offers a great nightlife (82%; #1 globally), is a destination with a sophisticated crowd (76%; #1 globally); has social media visibility (74%; #1 globally), has unexplored beaches (70%; #2), whether destination has adult-only resorts & activities (56%; #3), is a destination with a lot of singles (51%; #1 globally), has beaches that allow beachgoers to go nude (46%; #1 globally).
Most appealing aspects of a beach vacation for Indian travellers are relaxation (72%; #5), spending time with family/ friends (72%; #3), forgetting the routine (55%), escape the city (53%, #4), partying (43%, #2), potential for holiday romance (45%; #1), escaping the winter blues (21%, #1), getting sun tanned (21%; #4).
Aspects of a beach vacation that make Indian travellers most Anxious are getting a sunburn (61%; #3), being stung by a jellyfish or a stingray (70%; #4), allergies (66%, #1), shark attacks (73%; #1), natural disaster/ calamities e.g. tsunami (72%; #1), feeling body conscious (65%; #1), loud jet-skis and motorized boats (59%, #1), large crowds (64%; #5), high cost of food, drinks, souvenirs and beach services (71%; #4), other people’s children (49%; #1), Murky water/ seaweed (69%), risk of theft, like having your wallet or possessions stolen (76%; #5), drowning/strong rip currents (71%; #3), technology/gadgets (67%; #1), lost property (71%; #3), not being able to access WiFi/ internet to check work e-mail (59%; #1), quality of hotel (78%; #2), seeing people in speedo bathing suits (47%; #1), seeing people sunbathing nude or topless (51%; #1).
Anxieties that travellers face or think of regarding their children include falling sick/cold/cough/ fever/ stomach upset etc. (59%), drowning/getting drifted into deep water (52%), jellyfish stings (44%; #5), sunburn/ tanning (40%; #5), food allergies (49%; #1), float accidents (40%; #3), weather (42%; #1), sand rash (41%; #2), eating sand/ gulping water (40%; #1).
Money Matters @Vacations:
The average budget split for an Indian traveller in their last vacation was: flights? 16% on accommodation, 14% on food & 5% on alcoholic beverages, 10% on shopping/ souvenirs (#2), 8% on excursions/ tours, 8% on entertainment, 7% on rental Car/bikes, 7% on local transportation (#1) and 4% on family friendly activities/ baby-sitting services.
Indians at #1 in spending on ice cream (4.6 USD) and #3 in spending on soft drinks globally (4.2 USD); #4 in a glass of house wine (4.9 USD); #5 in beer (3.4 USD)
When booking a vacation, Indian travellers will splurge on
Hotel/Accommodation: room with a view (60%; #1), hotel in a desired location- India (58%; #1), hotel with a pool (44%; #4), room on the beach (48%; #2), hotel with room service / restaurant on premise (50%; #1), room with good/luxurious washroom (47%; #1), hotel with an exception level of service (35%; #2), hotel with a spa (37%; #1), home- rentals/ villas (33%; #1), hotel with premium in-room amenities- India (33%); Thailand (30%); USA (27%), Hotel with history/ heritage hotel (30%; #1), a hotel with new, contemporary furnishings and décor (28%; #1), hotel with a fitness centre (27%; #1)
Flights: direct flight as opposed to connecting flight (46%; #1), an airline that offers in-flight Wi-Fi- India (33%; #1), full service flight instead of low-cost carrier (30%; #1), first class or business class airline seats (26%; #1)
Car Rentals: luxury rental car (1%; Bottom #1)
Jet, Set, Go!
Indian travellers on an average have taken 1.7 domestic (#1) and 1 international vacation to a beach in the last 12 months
Most Indians started their preparations to get “beach ready” 1 or 2 months before (32%; #2) while about 11% started preparations 3 to 4 months before the actual dates of their trip
On an average, Indians spend max time on buying vacation-specific outfits (3.9hrs), gym preparation/ workout (2.8hrs) and dieting (2.2hrs), while getting ready for a beach vacation
Indians #1 spenders globally on dieting (USD 18.5), getting a facial (USD 12.2), manicure and pedicure (USD 6.3), getting real tan (USD 10.7) and fake tan (USD 6.7) to get beach ready
For the most recent beach vacation, highest number of Indians packed their bags 2 days in advance (23%), 19% packed a day before, 12% packed 5-7 days in advance, while 8% packed on the day they left for their trip
Indians also over-pack going with the global phenomenon. Sun safety is a key parameter and vacationers pack atleast one item that protects them from the sun like- sunscreen (48%), hat (63%), and multiple pairs of sunglasses (67%). Indians globally #1 in packing laundry detergent (27%), beach tent (34%) and portable radio (27%)
Women can bare, men shouldn’t!
Acceptable beach attire for Women: Thong-style swimsuit (73%; #5), topless (38%), nude (25%)
Beach attire not acceptable for Men: Mankini (42%), thong-style swimsuit (37%), speedo style swimsuit (24%)
What do Indian vacationers do at the beach?
Watching a sunrise or sunset: 35% always watch (#1) & 1% never watch
Walking: 35% always walk (#1) & 2% never walk
Listening to music: 26% always listen (#1) & 4% never listen
Taking selfies: 22% always take selfies (#1)
Posting photos on social media: 22% always post (#1) & 9% never post
‘Checking in’ on social media: 21% always check-in (#1) & 12% never check-in
Connecting with others through social media: 19% always connect (#1) & 10% never connect
Swimming: 21% always swim (#4) & 10% never swim (#4)
Meeting new people: 20% always do (#1) & 6% never do
Running / jogging / working out Running / jogging / working out: 20% always participate (#1) & 8% never participate
Playing beach sports (volleyball, soccer, football, etc.): 19% always play (#1)
Playing beach games (frisbee, paddleball, etc.): 16% always play (#1) & 9% never play
People-watching: 18% always do (#2) & 6% never do
Water sports: 17% always participate (#1) & 11% never participate
Reading: 16% always read (#2) & 14% never read
Sleeping: 15% always sleep (#2) & 20% never sleep (#4)
Sunbathing: 14% always participate & 13% never participate
Working: 14% always work (#1) & 31% never work (#5)
Getting a massage/spa treatment: 13% always get it (#1) & 14% never get it done
Drinking alcohol: 10% always drink (#2) & 31% never drink (#4)
Yoga/ Tai Chi / meditation: 14% always do it
Skinny dipping / swimming nude: 10% always do (#1) & 49% never do (#5)
Behaviour that annoys Indian vacationers at the beach:
The Slob: doesn’t clean up after himself and leaves garbage on the beach (58%)
The Boozer: drinks heavily (54%)
The Paparazzi: photographs strangers (45%)
The Ogler: openly stares at others (43%)
The DJ: plays his / her music too loudly (40%)
The Sand-flinger: flicks sand with no regard for who it hits or how far it flies (39%)
The Flirter: openly flirts with everyone (38%)
Mr/Mrs Yadsale: sets up his/her camp too close to you, despite lots of open beach space (36%)
The Loud Mouth: talks so loudly you can’t help but listen to all his / her conversations (35%)
The Canoodler: is publicly amorous with his / her mate (35%)
The Chair Hog: places his / her belongings on beach chairs first thing in the morning, but doesn’t return until much later to use them (31%)
The Inattentive Parent: lets their children run wild (30%)
The Encroacher: spreads his / her possession too widely (29%)
The Fisherman: casts a fishing line in the middle of the beach (24%)
The Selfie Fan: A social media obsessed beachgoer who spends the majority of his / her time uploading pictures and video to social media (24%; #1)
The Exhibitionist: struts up and down the beach flaunting his / her beach bod (22%; #4)
The Errant Athlete: A beachgoer whose ball or frisbee tosses always go away (20%)
The Diner: brings a full meal to the beach (18%; #2)
The Tan Fan: obsessed with getting a tan (16%; #1)
The Yogi: practices her / her yoga poses on the beach (11%; #1)