Bengaluru, February 22, 2021.
People in India seem to have overcome the anxieties of the pandemic and are looking forward to a year of regularity, according to a randomized online survey of over 9000 customers of redBus, India’s largest online bus ticketing platform. The survey clearly shows intent for higher frequency of travel over the next 3-6 months, with 48% of the respondents seeking to travel at least once a month after 3-6 months, taking the travel intent back to pre-COVID levels when it was around 47%.
Hill stations are where people in India will be travelling this year for leisure, followed by beaches, with 46% of the respondents opting for the mountains and 28% to the sea shores.
When it comes to religious travel, Tirupati (26%) and Shirdi (12%) are the most popular pilgrimage destinations followed by Madurai, Nashik and Varanasi.
With intercity travel gradually inching back to its pre-COVID levels, the most important factors for outstation travel apart from safety/hygiene, according to respondents are:
● Having a comfortable journey
● Reliable schedules and punctuality
● Travel cost
A behavioural shift that has been evident post-COVID is the preference for online bus booking going up. This was evident in the survey with 95% of respondents mentioning that they would prefer to book their bus tickets online now.
The major advantages associated with online booking according to the respondents are:
● Selecting a seat of their own choice on the bus
● Convenience of booking anytime/anywhere
● Wide range of bus operators to choose from
● Avoiding long queues/unnecessary exposure at bus depots
Air-conditioned buses are also making a comeback with their preference levels going up to 50%, compared to 39% as per a similar survey done earlier in June 2020.
Commenting on the data from the survey, Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, stated, “Results from this survey have not only provided a unique insight into the bubbling demand for travel in India, but also reaffirmed the notion that the industry’s strong comeback is set to move into a higher gear in the months ahead. We are thrilled that a majority of the people now prefer to book bus tickets online, which further strengthens our position, as travellers take advantage and stick to the habit of transacting online from the comfort of their homes.”