Revenge tourism is the rage – Indians travel spend grow 165% in festive season

Whether motivated by revenge tourism or the extended Diwali weekend Indians travel spend showed a 165% increase this festive season according to a PayU Insights Report : Festive edition.

PayU Festive Insights Infographic Revenge tourism is the rage - Indians travel spend grow 165% in festive season
Indians travel spend grow 165% in festive season

Not only are Indians traveling extensively, but they are using all modes of travel. Highlighting trends in travel, cabs showed a 121% increase in expenditure, while train bookings witnessed a 50% increase in expenditure & 33% increase in average ticket size. Airlines saw a 95% increase in average ticket size. Holiday packages saw a 70% increase in expenditure and 341% increase in average ticket size. 

PayU unveiled its Insights Report – Festive edition today which compares digital payment transaction trends on the PayU platform between the festive seasons of 2021 and 2022*. 2022 saw a 64% increase in expenditure & 31% increase in the number of transactions vis-à-vis festive sale period in 2021.

Moreover, the report also mapped the overall pandemic impact on Indians’ adoption of digital payments for the festive period. There has been a 245% increase in expenditure & 130% increase in the number of transactions between the ‘normal’ period of 2019 & post-pandemic period of 2022.

Key insights for 2022 vis-a-vis 2021

India’s strong credit preference

The appetite for credit is also reflected in the fact that credit repayment (i.e. personal loans for consumers & businesses) saw a 107% increase in expenditure & 105% increase in transactions over the last festive season. One of the highest categories for UPI spending was Credit Repayment, showing that Indians are increasingly repaying personal loans using UPI. Not surprisingly, debit card transactions declined by 34 %.

Indians travel spend grow 165% in festive season
Indians travel spend grow 165% in festive season

Credit cards were the most preferred mode of payment this season. Interestingly, credit card users spent about 5 times more than debit card users in 2022 (total expenditure), in spite of the fact that there is 1 credit card for every 12 debit cards.

On an average, a credit card user spent Rs. 6000 as opposed to a debit card user who spent Rs. 2500, in 2022. Year on year, credit card transactions and expenditures grew 42% and 84%, respectively. One reason could be banks offering cashback, reward points, discounts, deals & add-on services on cobranded cards & standalone cards.

UPI driving digital payments adoption for daily use-cases 

There was a 133% rise in the number of transactions and a 124% growth in expenditure compared to 2021, probably echoing economic recovery, increased UPI adoption by small businesses & consumers. Interestingly, the average ticket size for UPI transactions has gone down marginally (-4%).

Consumers used UPI for small ticket items such as groceries, within city travel & entertainment, which could be the reason ticket size declined. The top 5 cities contributing to the highest number of transactions through UPI are Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi NCR.

Digitization and economic expansion led to the growth of financial services

In the Banking and Insurance sector, transactions & expenditures increased by 100% and 143% respectively. This general sentiment is reflected across BFSI categories; total expenditure made in the insurance space grew by 41% perhaps driven by economic expansion, regulatory moves and increasing insurance penetration.

Investments saw a 66% growth in expenditure & 50% growth in average ticket size – one possible reason could be the increased adoption of do-it-yourself wealth management platforms – especially within the millennial travel trends 2022 subset & post pandemic travel trends 2022 behavioral changes.

OTT & gaming leading digital entertainment adoption

The entertainment industry witnessed an increase in both expenditure and transactions of 52% and 54%. OTT expenditure has grown by 80% & transactions by 175%; gaming expenditure shot up by 20%.

However, expenses related to watching movies physically and attending on-ground events witnessed a decline in expenditure and transactions of 11% and 43% respectively – perhaps habits set during the pandemic (OTT preference & avoiding public spaces) continue post-pandemic.

Commenting on the PayU Insights Report – Festive Edition Paulami Das, Director, PayU Payments said“ Based on these insights, we are able to determine economic & industry-specific trends and whether these reflect broader market movements. We see that behaviors formed during the pandemic persist into the new normal with the preference for travel, digital entertainment & UPI continuing to increase significantly this festive season.”

Other spends of significance
Other spends of significance

*The report compares digital payment transaction trends on the PayU platform between festive periods of 2022 (September 15 – October 15) and 2021 (October 1-31).

Read More: Latest