Indians are 'optimistic with a dash of caution' about 2021 shopping & travel plans

Survey highlights young adults' holiday season shopping plans, fitness focus and dreams of travel.

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Most Indian are saving more money for their next trip as a result of the pandemic.
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It looks like Indians are seeking normalcy in a year that’s turned out to be anything but. According to the Amex Trendex, a trend report from American Express, Indian consumers are mapping out their holiday season shopping plans, prioritising their wellbeing with more time at home, and hoping to turn travel dreams into a 2021 reality.

The poll was conducted between October 1-16, 2020 among a national sample of 1,001 general population travelers in India with a household income of at least Rs 18 lakh, and defined as adults who traveled by air at least once in the past 12 months.

Sharing more about this initiative, Manoj Adlakha, CEO & SVP, American Express Banking Corp., said, “Understanding what matters to our customers will help us meaningfully deliver to their expectations. As we enter the festive season in a year that has been overshadowed by the global pandemic, the Trendex survey has put the spotlight on our silver linings - family and friendships, focus on wellness and fitness, and a deep desire to travel and explore the world again. Optimism, hope and action emerge as key themes from this survey.”


Time to celebrate
Indians are still in the mood to celebrate with 44 per cent of respondents agree that they think of giving/getting gifts and celebrating to reconnect with life before the pandemic. And we’re willing to give ourselves a little treat with 25 per cent respondents in India planning on spending more on holiday season gifts this year, compared to last year.

​Holiday season spending trends
Holiday season spending trends

Around 65 per cent are more likely to shop online than in-store this year but they want to continue supporting small businesses. Close to 50 per cent of Indian adults say that they are much more likely to shop at small businesses this holiday season, compared to previous years.
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What’s on people’s gift giving and wish lists? Consumers are very interested in receiving experiences. When it comes to giving, 46 per cent said they are more likely to give touchless gifts like a subscription or e-gift card this year.

Fitness gets a level up
At-home digital fitness is most popular in India, where 54 per cent of adults surveyed have purchased a subscription to a digital fitness program in the last six months. For Indian adults eating healthier and exercising more frequently are top personal wellness priorities.

Trendex_2
Health and wellness trends

Around 50 per cent say they are more likely to care about fitness moving forward, and agreed they have an increased appreciation for it. Some are exploring new or different wellness habits and hobbies, with 47 per cent agreeing that they found a new fitness hobby to stay healthy in the past six months while social distancing.
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India also ranked highest in respondents identifying their family/friends contributing to their overall wellness (91 per cent). Globally, 81 per cent adults agreed spending quality time with friends and family contributes positively to their wellness.

Back to travelling
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Indians emerge as avid holiday travellers with one in three respondents reporting that they travelled for major holidays last year but will not do so this year. Across the world, respondents are largely still wary of travel, saying they would not feel comfortable traveling until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available. 34 per cent of Indians echo this sentiment.

Trendex_3
Global travel trends

Travel plans continue to take centre stage in future planning, with 32 per cent Indians already dreaming about their next holiday. 1 in 2 (50 per cent) Indian adults are interested in receiving a trip in 2021 as a gift this holiday season. Not surprisingly, they also marked a strong preference and were willing to pay extra for lodging and hotels that offered private and/or socially distanced amenities, eg: socially distanced spas (49 per cent) and private pools (49 per cent).

About 45 per cent of Indian respondents said they are saving more money for their next trip as a result of the pandemic.

Most Powerful Passports Of 2019: India Loses Charm; Singapore, Japan Among Travel-Friendly Countries
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The new Henley Passport Index is out, and there has been a major shuffle in the global ranking of the world's passports.

In the beginning of 2019, 27 countries were in the top 10 positions on the index, but this month 4 more countries were added to the list.

Several countries climbed the list to have most powerful passports, while few slipped from their positions, including India.

The ranking is determined on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. It is based on the exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.

Here's a look at all the top ranking passports of this year.
The new Henley Passport Index is out, and there has been a major shuffle in the global ranking of the world's passports. In the beginning of 2019, 27 countries were in the top 10 positions on the in..
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Japan retained its top spot as the world's most powerful passport in 2019 for the second time in a row .

However, Singapore also shared the top spot with Japan in becoming the world's most travel-friendly passport due to the document's access to 189 countries.
Japan retained its top spot as the world's most powerful passport in 2019 for the second time in a row . However, Singapore also shared the top spot with Japan in becoming the world's most travel-fr..
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While Finland jumped 2 spots, Germany moved 1 place to share the position with South Korea. These countries offer access to 187 countries.

South Korea had moved 10 places up the rankings since 2009, when it held 12th place with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 144.
While Finland jumped 2 spots, Germany moved 1 place to share the position with South Korea. These countries offer access to 187 countries. South Korea had moved 10 places up the rankings since 2009,..
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With access to 186 jurisdictions, Denmark and Italy inched up one place to the third rank, and Luxembourg managed to rise from the previous fifth rank.
With access to 186 jurisdictions, Denmark and Italy inched up one place to the third rank, and Luxembourg managed to rise from the previous fifth rank.
Sweden retained its fourth rank from January, with access to 185 nations.

While France dropped one place, Spain climbed to from the fifth position to share the spot with Sweden.
Sweden retained its fourth rank from January, with access to 185 nations. While France dropped one place, Spain climbed to from the fifth position to share the spot with Sweden.
With permission to 184 nations, Austria, Netherlands, Portugal & Switzerland jumped one spot to share the fifth rank.
With permission to 184 nations, Austria, Netherlands, Portugal & Switzerland jumped one spot to share the fifth rank.
Belgium Canada Greece Ireland climbed one spot to the sixth rank, while Norway, United Kingdom and the United States retained their position with permissions to 183 countries.
Belgium Canada Greece Ireland climbed one spot to the sixth rank, while Norway, United Kingdom and the United States retained their position with permissions to 183 countries.
Malta and Czech Republic inter-switched places. Malta solely ruled at the seventh spot with permission to 182 countries, and Czech Republic moved to eighth position on the powerful passport index with access to 181 destinations.
Malta and Czech Republic inter-switched places. Malta solely ruled at the seventh spot with permission to 182 countries, and Czech Republic moved to eighth position on the powerful passport index wit..
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Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Lithuania jointly share the 9th position with access to 180 nations.

While Australia, Iceland, New Zealand climbed one place, Lithuania was a new entrant.
Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Lithuania jointly share the 9th position with access to 180 nations. While Australia, Iceland, New Zealand climbed one place, Lithuania was a new entrant.
Latvia, Slovenia & Slovakia proudly marched at the 10th spot with access to 179 nations.
Latvia, Slovenia & Slovakia proudly marched at the 10th spot with access to 179 nations.

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