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

    Synopsis

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

    iStock
    Most Indian are saving more money for their next trip as a result of the pandemic.
    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 trendsAgencies
    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.

    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_2Agencies
    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.

    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
    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_3Agencies
    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 ...

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    The Passport Shuffle

    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.

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