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New Delhi: Value for money may be the main focus while planning a vacation for 2023, but Indian travellers are not deterred by the high costs of hotels and flights.

Compared to 2019, flight ticket prices have shot up by at least 66% on domestic routes and about 23% on international routes. A new research, conducted by American online travel agency and metasearch engine Kayak, owned and operated by Booking Holdings, said the average cost of a return economy domestic flight for 2023 will be about 13,783, and for a return international economy flight about 85,631.

The company's vice president & general manager of the Asia Pacific region, Elia San Martin, told Mint that the research was conducted for the company by market research firm YouGov which surveyed about 1,900 people in India, and found that travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic have contributed to the current surge in travel appetite. She said three-quarters or 78% of those who participated in the survey were looking forward to travelling in 2023.

While India has always been an important market for them, the growth rates in the space are propelling the company to focus more on it. "India has the largest, youngest population in the world and when you are looking the future of travel, you are looking at these factors too. As a destination, not just from an APAC perspective, markets like Delhi for instance, are becoming hubs of travel," she added.

The company also saw that flight searches from airports in India shot up 204% between April and November 2022, for those who were looking to travel in 2023 as compared to 2019. For international flights, searches made during this time increased by about 168% and domestic flights searches have increased by about 257%.

Despite value for money being their number one consideration for their 2023 holidays, Indian travellers, she said, were not deterred by these high flight prices in 2023.

She added that international hotel searches by Indian travellers had also increased by about 82% when compared to 2019, and domestic hotel searches increased by about 54%.

Prices, too, have jumped. International prices for a one-night double room in 3-4 star hotel rooms have increased by about 20% on average compared to 2019 for Indian users of the company's website, and for domestic hotel rooms by about 24% on average.

"While nearly half of those surveyed plan to spend more money or the same for their travels than pre-pandemic, value for money supersedes all other factors when it comes to the Indian traveller. Over 60% of the surveyed Indian travellers count it as their top consideration for booking flights and hotels," she said.

About 80% look to spend 4 lakh or less for travel in the year 2023. About 62% chose 'exploring the world' as the main reason for the regained travel desire, she added.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Varuni Khosla

Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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