Indians love to travel as much as anyone else, but there are things that we do differently to others when it comes to travel. There are some typically Indian idiosyncrasies that travel companies in Australia are only just waking up to. In this article, we tell you how they plan to lure Indian travellers.

Tourism Australia recently unveiled a factsheet containing results of a study in which they attempted to understand their Indian consumers better. India is a vast land comprised of different languages and cultures, and it forms a significant part of Tourism Australia’s market, so it is understandable that they commissioned this study.

Here are a few of their findings for your reading pleasure:

1. Indians are primarily vegetarians
Geographic locations and traditional tastes influence eating habits, but on the whole, Indians are primarily vegetarian, with over 42% of Indian households eating a fully vegetarian diet. Even among those who eat non-vegetarian food, 35% of weekly meals are comprised of vegetarian items. So travellers can expect more Indian-style food on the menu when they travel to Australia, with an option of opting for a fully vegetarian meal, a mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and a fully non-vegetarian meals. This means Indian travellers will have more choice.

2. Indians are culturally and ritualistically sensitive.
Let’s face it. A ‘namaste’ means a lot to us. We take our deep cultural roots seriously, and are often knowledgeable about when the next big festival is going to happen. Diwali, Navratri, Rakhi, Holi and Ganesh Chaturthi are not only auspicious days for us, but we use them as occasions for family get-togethers and functions. Knowing this fact, Tourism Australia has urged its operators to be cognisant of the Indian cultural holidays and festivals. Expect tour guides to greet you in the traditional manner, or even dressed in traditional clothes when welcoming you. And yes, don’t be surprised if some of them show more than a passing knowledge of Hindi.

3. Indians are avid shoppers
We’re perhaps no different to the rest of the world in this. A whole 23% of travellers ranked ‘great shopping’ amongst their top five important considerations when choosing a holiday destination. In general, Indians love shopping around sales and discounts, and tend to look at shopping as a family bonding activity, something to be performed in the evenings. You can expect your Australian tour operators to be fully informed on where the nearest and most bustling shopping areas are, and they can also give you information about how much you can bargain where. Because don’t you know? Indians love to bargain.

4. Indians book late. In fact, punctuality is not their strong point.
India is known in tourism circles as a ‘late booking market’, which means that Indians plan their holidays about two to three months in advance rather than the better-prepared ones who book their tickets nine to ten months before their trips. When searching for a holiday destination, Indians look for safety and security, natural beauty, value for money and interesting attractions to visit. However, Indians are extremely value conscious, which means we love offers, discounts and free deals. Tourism Australia has picked up on this trait, and is all set to offer a slew of unbelievable deals to lure us, like: kids eat/stay free, complimentary upgrades, three nights for the price of two etc.

Divya Singh

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