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TripBarometer Study: Seven Out of Ten Indian Travellers Want to Enrich their Understanding of the World and Have Unique Experiences on Vacation

TripAdvisor launches new edition of TripBarometer revealing the Psychology of Travel

Sep 25, 2014   14:15 IST 
New Delhi, Delhi, India

TripAdvisor® today announced the results of the latest installment of TripBarometer, focusing on the Psychology of Travel. This is the fourth edition of the biannual study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos. TripBarometer is the world’s largest traveller and accommodation survey1 highlighting country, regional and global travel trends according to more than 53,000 travellers and hoteliers around the world, with 1,200 respondents from India. The TripBarometer: Psychology of Travel report examines the motivations behind travelers’ vacation choices, traveler emotions at the various stages of a vacation and the post-trip impact of travel.


The Psychology of Travel: What motivates us to travel

Ipsos’ extensive research in various sectors has led to an understanding of the different psychological needs and motivations that impact human behavior across different settings and scenarios. In order to delve into the psychology of travel for this study, traveller respondents were asked to select two statements that best represented what kind of experience they wanted from a vacation.


The statements each relate to one of eight motivational categories:


Motivational category

Pairs of statements about how travelers want to feel on vacation relate to each motivational category

Liberation =

Enjoy life to the fullest


Let go and feel carefree

Immersion =

Immerse myself in local culture


Meet new people & make memories

Relationships =

Enjoy moments with loved ones


Strengthen existing relationships

Harmony =

Restore sense of harmony/balance


Feel looked after/taken care of

Order =

Time out to think & regain control


Feel organised / avoid surprises

Enhancing perspective =

Unique & interesting experiences


Enrich understanding of the world

Luxury =

Have enviable experiences


Feel special and spoiled

Excitement =

Enjoy a sense of exhilaration


Challenge myself to try new things


The results of this approach reveal that ‘enhancing perspective’ is the primary motivation for vacation choices for the majority travellers (Global 71%; Indian 68%) followed by ‘liberation’ (Global 62%; Indian 59%). ‘Order’ and ‘harmony’ are the least important motivations for travellers, with only 21 percent falling into these categories globally. Also, not many Indian travellers are likely to crave pampered experiences with only 23 percent of them indicating ‘luxury’ as an important motivation for vacation choices.


While ‘enhancing perspective’ is the main driver for travellers around the world, there are variations in motivations when looking at different nationalities: while travellers from South Africa, UK and Italy lean towards ‘harmony’; Brazilians, Thais and Chinese seek out ‘liberation’; Indians seek out ‘relationships’ whilst Russians are more keen on getting ‘luxury’ from their vacations.


Hotelier respondents were also asked to select statements that best matched how they wanted their guests to feel as a result of their stay. While this is not in line with motivation for travellers on holiday, 74 percent of Indian hoteliers want to provide their guests with a sense of ‘harmony’, compared to 73 percent globally. The good news is that over half (54%) of Indian hoteliers want to provide guests with a chance to broaden their horizons while they are in the destination, matching the ‘enhance perspective’ motivation most favoured by travellers.


This latest wave of TripBarometer, the world’s largest traveller and accommodation survey reveals that travellers want to broaden their horizons, feel immersed in local culture, and share the experience with loved ones. While the primary motivations behind Indian travellers’ vacation choices are ‘enhancing perspective’ and gaining a sense of ‘liberation’, which are in line with those of global travellers, it is Indian travellers’ strong desire to bond with their loved ones that sets them apart from the average traveller. At 54 percent, ‘relationships’ is the third most important and distinguishing motivation for Indian travellers, exceeding the global average of 47 percent. Another heartening statistic is that 51 percent of Indians become more ‘open minded and tolerant’ after a vacation, underscoring the importance of travel as a great force that can bring people from different cultures closer together,” said Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India.


The traveller journey: How travellers feel at various stages of a trip

This edition of TripBarometer examined which emotions travellers were most likely to feel at the five stages of travel: booking, arrival, during the stay, departure and back at home. Excitement peaks during lead-up and arrival, with travelers feeling most fulfilled upon returning home from a vacation.


Fifty four percent of global travellers report feeling ‘excited’ at the booking stage compared to fifty two percent of Indian travellers. Excitement is still the predominant emotion on arrival at their destination (Global 55%; Indian 55%), with 34 percent of global and 35 percent of Indian travellers also reporting feeling ‘energized’ at this stage.


During the stay, the majority of global travellers (45%) feel ‘relaxed’, but this is also the time when they begin to feel more ‘liberated’ (26%) and ‘closer to their loved ones’ (24%). In addition to feeling ‘relaxed’ (47%), Indian travellers also begin to feel more ‘closer to their loved ones’ (33%), ‘excited’ (29%) and ‘energised’ (26%) during their vacation.


Global travellers feel ‘fulfilled’ both on departure from their vacation (47%) and once they are back home (45%), with 36 percent of respondents also saying they feel ‘relaxed’ following a vacation. Likewise, Indian travellers also indicate that they feel ‘fulfilled’ on departure from their holiday (47%). In comparison to the global average of 36 percent, 40 percent of Indian respondents claim that they feel ‘relaxed’ upon their return home. What is perhaps most interesting is that 29 percent of Indians say they feel ‘closer to their loved one’ when they are back home.


While there aren’t too many surprises in the emotional journey of travellers globally, breaking down the results by is a bit more revealing. Men have a higher tendency to feel ‘knowledgeable’ (27%) at the booking stage, whereas women are more ‘excited’ (60%) than the global average. Twenty two percent of men report feeling ‘in control’ on departure and 15 percent of men say they feel ‘confident’ once back home, higher than the global average at both stages.


Hoteliers have an opportunity to hook travellers when they are excited, and to contribute to their guests feeling more knowledgeable throughout their stay. As part of the study, hoteliers were asked what actions they took throughout the traveller journey to relate to their guests. Fifty one percent of Indian hoteliers say their main priority is to ensure a smooth and efficient process at booking and 29 percent are keen to minimize any potential stress leading up to arrival. However, there is more they could be doing to leverage travellers’ feelings of excitement right from the start by providing local information about the destination and beginning to build a relationship with the guest before they even arrive, although Indian hoteliers are more likely than the average hotel to be doing these things.


The post-travel impact: how vacation experiences affect every day life

Travellers often bring home souvenirs from their vacations, but what else? For this wave of TripBarometer, respondents were asked to think back on their travels and reveal what they had been prompted to do as a result of a trip.


The travel bug is the main lasting post-vacation impact, as 70 percent of Indian travellers report that returning home from a trip has prompted them to plan another vacation, which is higher the global average of 66 percent. Fifty one percent of Indian travellers say they’ve become more open minded and tolerant of others as a result of a trip, while 49 percent of them say they’ve become more environmentally friendly. Thirty six percent of Indians have introduced new foods and recipes into their diets as a result of a trip, as compared to the global average of 38 percent.


Looking at Indian travellers by life stage groups, millennials are more likely to plan more vacations (77%) and learn something new (35%), as a result of a trip, while families are more likely to prioritize more time on relationships with friends and family (32%) upon returning home from vacation.


The majority, 55 percent of Indian hoteliers encourage their guests to write online reviews following their stay, and to recommend the hotel to family and friends. Those hoteliers who see a guest return rate of between 76-100 percent are more likely to prioritise ‘beginning to build a lasting relationship’ (34%) during the lead up to a guests stay.


"The results of the TripBarometer highlight that hoteliers can stand out from the competition by providing unique and enriching experiences. And while it's no surprise that travellers tend to be excited when they book and prepare for a trip, hoteliers are missing an opportunity to capitalise on that excitement and begin building a lasting relationship with their guests. Only a minority of hotels are currently making this a priority, but those who do also tend to receive more repeat guests," said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business.


¹Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from 17 July to 5 August 2014, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 53,804 interviews were completed in 32 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 39,721 consumers who are TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who have researched their travel plans online in the last year, and 14,083 representatives from accommodations on TripAdvisor database, making it the world’s largest combined accommodation and traveller survey. The consumer survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer. Equal weighting is also applied at country level for the business survey. For additional information about TripBarometer, please visit and download the global report.


About TripAdvisor:

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 170 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 44 countries worldwide, including China under TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.


TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24other travel media brands:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014


**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q2 2014; does not include traffic to

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