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Train & Bus travelers more optimistic to start travel post COVID

By M4G Bureau - May 12, 2020

IntrCity RailYatri’s survey says Hygiene, Sanitization and Social Distancing tops the priority list of travelers

IntrCity RailYatri, one of India’s leading inter-city mobility network, launched a report titled ‘Decoding inter-city traveler sentiments post COVID’based on their survey of the train and bus travelers. As per the findings, Bus and Train travelers are optimistic of travel in next three months as opposed to domestic air travelers. It also appears that a large number of travelers currently stuck in the ‘wrong’ cities, impacted by timing of sudden lock-down. With over 31% Indians expressed to get home as their immediate priority. The survey was conducted between 15th April and 7th May amongst travelers between the age group of 18 years to 52 years.

A surprisingly large (38%) travelers displayed a high level of optimism regarding the return to normalcy. Around 35% were unsure. 25% of the participants believe that it will be a while before life goes back to the way it was.

Professional or work-related travel takes top priority followed by social travel as opposed to planned holidays. A whopping 71% participants indicated drop in their planned holidays this year.

Commenting on the current customer sentiments,Manish Rathi, CEO & Co-founder, IntrCity RailYatri,said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole inter-city mobility industry in 2020 to come to a halt. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, consumer sentiments and preference have changed drastically, health safety becoming the priority for everyone. This survey was aimed at gauging the impact of the lockdown on the intercity mobility space and current customer sentiments around travel. Going forward there will be no single path to reinvention however, businesses will be able to succeed by prioritizing three key levers of change: Hygiene & Sanitization, Social Distancing and leveraging technology. As inter-city mobility leaders, we are observing and recommending the steps to be taken to ensure safe travel and allow a wave of innovation in the industry to pace the return to normalcy.”

In a pre-Covid market, one of the primary concerns of the travelers was ‘On-time’ journey, however after the global pandemic, the concern has shifted towards safety and hygiene. Over 70% of the respondents in the survey picked either ‘Hygiene and Sanitation’ or ‘Social Distancing’ as their top criteria.

Kapil Raizada, Co-founder,IntrCity RailYatri, felt it was imperative to understand the needs of the customers, “The survey has brought forward some very interesting insights in the decision- making pattern of customers in a post COVID market. Our intention behind this activity was to gain deeper insights into the evolving mindset of inter-city traveler. Taking these insights into account, IntrCity RailYatri will be introducing a number of innovations to address the needs of our travelers.”

         Findings reveal leisure trips are not people’s first choice anymore for domestic travel

  • From the perspective of various travel options taken into consideration, the percentage of travelers who intend to have a relaxing tour, account for 25.3%; at the same time, more than 33.41% surveyed festivals and social occasions as the only reason for their future travel
  • As per the finding, inter-city travelers would prefer online methods of ticket booking than offline in the near future. Among the participants, 59.3% said ‘Yes’ to the online mode of booking and only 9.8% would continue to prefer offline methods of ticket booking. Remaining participants are already utilizing online booking for their travel needs

          Hygienic waiting & boarding conditions top concern for bus & train travel. The pre-travel ecosystem now stands important

  • 41.24% claim they want stringent prevention and control measures at the boarding point
  • 34.4% opted for social distancing in waiting areas hoping for a protected, and safe environment
  • Low-touch activities will be preferred, attracting both new and frequent travelers post COVID-19

         Top considerations - Hygiene, Sanitization and Social Distancing. ‘On-time’ has dropped from #1 to #4

  • In response to the survey, over 42.48% of travelers opted for Hygiene & Sanitization as one of the parameters, completely changing the definition of ‘Travel Safety’
  • The results show, Hygiene, Sanitization, and Social Distancing are going to be on the top of consumers’ minds, way beyond than just “on-time” journey promise, which has historically been a clear winner.
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