While the world celebrates the day of love, surveys reveal how people are finding new ways to spend it with their loved ones
What’s better than finding out new ways to celebrate one of the purest forms of emotions with another equally powerful passion? That of the wanderlust. And demonstrably caring your partner.
Surge in travel bookings
A research study by travel company, Thomas Cook India, found out that there was a 27 per cent surge in travel bookings among people around Valentine’s Day in India.
Since the day has fallen on a Thursday, this has allowed travellers to take their Fridays off and avail of an extended weekend (a four-day break) to celebrate day of love by travelling with their loved ones.
The data highlights that while a demand for romantic destinations such as France, Switzerland, Italy, Bali, Maldives continued to grow, it were the non-standard destinations, such as Korea, Japan, and Greece that had received significant interest. From a domestic perspective, destinations like Manali, Kerala and Goa, had featured as favourites.
While the day has been viewed more as a phenomenon in metro cities, the country’s tier two and three cities also displayed strong demand. Metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi accounted for approximately 60 per cent bookings, where as around 40 per cent bookings came from tier two and three cities like Kochi, Lucknow, Chandigarh.
A significant rise was also observed among the millennial segment and DINK/SINK (double/single income no kids) couples, which accounted for a 47 per cent contribution to the bookings chart.
Even though conventional romantic experiences such as champagne brunch and candlelit dinners, sunset cruises and couple spas continued to be the chosen flavours, even the non-traditional ones, like quad-biking, snorkelling, sailing trips, bungee jumping, sea-plane tours, scenic self-drives, thrived. They saw a growth of around 45 per cent against last year.
Moreover, culinary experiences and activities stayed on the top of international travellers’ lists. The most commonly chosen activities were vineyard tours and sampling new age wines in South Africa, cooking classes with a local chef in Malaysia or indulging in chef Hawker Chan’s Michelin-starred street food in Singapore, outdoor experiences like a self-drive in a super car through Tuscany’s countryside or the ultimate experience of an F1 ride around the Yas Marina Circuit, an igloo stay in Finland to witness the Northern Lights, a Vespa city sightseeing tour in Singapore, a sunset cruise or kayaking along the mangroves in Abu Dhabi and road trips to Manali and Leh.
The research also noticed that in order to optimise the day’s extended weekend easily, travellers capitalised more on visa-free or visa-on-arrival destinations like Bali, Jordan, Thailand and islands like Maldives and Seychelles.
While the statistics of the couple travellers were comparatively high, interestingly, solo travel also turned out to be on an increase with 20 per cent. A sizeable demand was seen from the single women’s segment travelling to safer destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai-Abu Dhabi, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Shillong and Coorg.
Talking about the changing trends on Valentine’s Day, Rajeev Kale, president and country head, leisure travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India), said, “Travel for Valentine’s Day is a strong and growing opportunity for us — across our outbound and domestic business lines. We have observed a significant increase in travel bookings of over 27 per cent this season.”
He listed a few places which were high in demand, “Noteworthy is the increasing demand for experiential and engaging travel this Valentine’s Day. Couples are demanding fun activities, be it self-drive holidays, wildlife trails and jungle safaris or wine and cuisine experiences, and exhilarating mountain sports. We have also created unique itineraries with experiences like undersea walks in the Andamans, learning to cook Malabar cuisine in Wayanad, nature treks in the Himalayas (Kausani), tiger safaris at Corbett, trying out Kalaripayattu in Munnar and Ayurvedic spa therapy in the Nilgiris.”
Surge in matrimony registrations
While couples are all around, there are also bachelors who look for love this Valentine’s Day.
A survey conducted by a matrimonial site, Bharat Matrimony among 6,809 of its members, revealed a that whopping 92 per cent singles were ready to marry and said that they’re looking for the “love of their life” and not just a life partner.
When asked about how they wanted their partner to express their love on Valentine’s Day, 52 per cent female participants wished that their partner expressed love to them by saying ‘I found my equal.’ Where as, only 23 per cent females opined that they wanted a gift.
However, the case with males was opposite. When asked about expressing love to their partners on Valentine’s Day, around 34 per cent said ‘by gifting her something she loves.’
Around 86 per cent participants said they would celebrate the day with their spouses after marriage while 14 per cent denied to the same.
Among the respondents, around 55 per cent female participants and 47 per cent male participants opined that celebrating the day “helps strengthen marital bonds.” Around 35 per cent females and 46 per cent males believed that it was a “special day to express love.” Among those who said that they will not celebrate the day post marriage, 43 per cent of them reasoned that “anniversaries and birthdays are more important days,” while 32 per cent believed the day was “just a marketing gimmick.”
So what is the best day of the year to express love post marriage?
Interestingly, around 44 per cent of the participants answered wedding anniversary, while 32 per cent felt that partner’s birthday was the best day to express love. While only 22 per cent preferred the most important day to express love to partner. In response to who should plan for Valentine’s Day after marriage, 30 per cent said the husband while 22 per cent opined the opposite.
Rajasekar KS, GM, marketing at Matrimony.com, said, “We’re constantly studying the changing aspiration of millennials with regard to matrimony. This survey proves that young singles are not only seeking a life partner but looking to find “the love of their life.” The widest choice of nearly three million bride and groom profiles, availability of detailed information about a member’s interests, features like secure chat and the option to directly call matches one likes, help members discover love that leads to a happy marriage.”
Thursday, 14 February 2019 | Team Viva
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