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Thomas Cook India and SOTC survey reveals UAE & Expo 2020 a strong driver of demand for Q4 2021

Thomas Cook India, India’s leading integrated travel services company, and its Group Company SOTC Travel Ltd have jointly surveyed over 2500 customers across India’s key metros like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and mini-metros like Pune and Tier 2 & 3 source markets, including Jaipur, Lucknow, Madurai, Kochi, Indore, Cuttack, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, and Surat.

The survey by Thomas Cook India and SOTC reveals insightful customer data, behaviour, and travel trends with UAE (Dubai-Abu Dhabi) and Expo 2020 Dubai emerging as a clear driver of international demand for Q4 2021:

  • Significant Travel Desire: 85% of respondents keen to travel (77% International, 61% domestic)
  • Over 60% indicate clear intent to visit UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai topping the leader board of favourites; also cricket fixtures of IPL & T20
Thomas Cook India survey reveals Dubai-Global-City as favourite
Dubai

With the reopening of borders, vaccine acceptance/easing of restrictions, Indians are displaying a strong travel appetite for UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi). Expo 2020 Dubai, starting October 1, 2021, and continuing up to March 31, 2022, has created a significant opportunity – with over 47% of respondents indicating keen interest to visit the event at least once this year.

Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 Dubai

Demand for Expo 2020 Dubai extends across a range of segments:

  • Business Travellers (MNCs, India corporate houses, SMEs) & Trade Associations: 15%
  • MICE Travellers: 25%
  • Leisure Travellers (Families/ Extended families, Couples, Millennials, Seniors): 45%
  • Education: 15%

No. of Visits & Duration of Stay:

  • 47% of respondents are likely to visit Expo 2020 at least once between October – December 2021
  • 57% of respondents indicated they would visit the Expo more than once (Oct 2021 – March 2022)
  • The average duration of stay: ranges from 4 – 7 nights
Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 Dubai

Willingness to Spend:

Approx. Rs. 70,000 for a trip of 4 nights to upward of Rs. 250,000 per person for luxury products

Customer Wishlist: Top Activities/Experiences at Expo 2020 Dubai:

  • Business: Automation presentations/launches, Sustainability ideation, Architectural innovations, Seminars & Summits, Business engagements
  • MICE: Networking, Award ceremonies & Gala Business Events
  • Families: Mars-inspired playground, penguin robots, an array of fun activity like an exciting transparent slide, children menus and family-friendly dining options, extravagant fireworks
  • Couples: Future of space travel, driverless cars, exciting acrobatic and opera shows, robotic bands, walk through waterfalls, rivers, mangroves, and wander through streets of famous world cities
  • Millennials: Workshops by world-renowned chefs, Futuristic Culinary Experiences – Lunch with robots, sensory engagement with innovative technologies, Virgin Hyperloop One simulator experience, healthcare innovations, A.R. Rahman’s Firdaus Orchestra, Expo Beats – shows & performances, Late Nights @ Expo & Jalsat @ Expo for people & artists from across the world
Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited
Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Our survey highlights strong travel demand for the last quarter 2021, with 60% customers indicating UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai as their top preference; followed by the cricket fixtures of IPL/T20. The survey further reveals strong appeal across a range of traveller segments – from India’s millennials, families, students, and business to our MICE corporate and across India’s metros as well as Tier 2-3 source markets. In addition to Expo 2020, the exciting cricket fixtures of the T20 World Cup & IPL, have allowed us to combine the two opportunities with a compelling product for the India market.”

Daniel D’souza President & Country Head, SOTC Travel said, “As per our survey there is an encouraging travel desire and confidence amongst customers pan-India. The survey reveals positive interest for families to witness this once-in-a-lifetime global mega-event. Expo 2020 Dubai, length of stay trends highlight, customers are looking at longer stay compared to short trips in the past. Over 57% of respondents said they would visit the Expo again along with an increased willingness to spend.”

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