The Rise of ‘Acti-Vacation’ Among Indian Travellers

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Keeping fit is now vital part of vacation for 95.6 per cent of Indian holidaymakers, as Hotels.com reveals global fitness tourism obsession

Hotels.com has released new data revealing a new wave of young travellers who are swapping beaches and beers for action-packed, celebrity-inspired fitness getaways, with this season expected to see a boom in ‘welfies’ – workout selfies. Results from the Hotels.com Activacations Survey show that a whopping 95.6 per cent of 18-35 year olds in India now consider keeping fit one of the most important parts of their holiday experience.

The survey carried out by travel experts shows that the rise of the ‘acti-vacation’ is also down to a barrage of social media ‘fit-fluencers’ who are combining sun, sea and sport. Social media is poised for the ‘welfie’ to make waves this summer with young holidaymakers now more likely to upload a photo of them engaging in outdoor sports (15 per cent) than a swimwear shot (10 per cent).

Indian millennial travellers are generally looking for richer, more unusual holiday experiences and admit that they use exercise to meet new people (38 per cent) and explore new places from an alternative perspective (29.8 per cent). Wanting to keep a jolly mood through the vacation (55 per cent) and keeping a check on holiday weight (32.7 per cent) also ranked highly as reasons for workout motivation.

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Many Indian holidaymakers are happy to give up top-notch food (75.6 per cent), relaxing, (61 per cent), sightseeing (36.6 per cent) and even alcohol (15.3 per cent) to get their fitness fix on vacation. Fitness is now so ingrained in the holiday experience, demand for superior fitness experiences from hotels has also reached a new high. Free access to all excerise facilities (71.6 per cent), state-of-the-art fitness facilities (23.6 per cent), personal training (33.3 per cent), healthy menus (37 per cent) and complimentary massages after excerise (23.3 per cent) all feature high on the hotel wish list.

Whilst men seek to take part in extreme physical activities on vacation, such as boxing (17.2 per cent), beach hiking (36.6 per cent) and wakeboarding (19.9 per cent),  majority of Indian women are opting for holistic wellness holidays with meditation (53.2 per cent), laughter yoga (40.3 per cent) and pilates (45.8 per cent) topping the activacation agenda. Running emerged as a clear winner amongst Indian travellers with an astounding 84 per cent of men and 80.7 per cent of women voting it as a preffered activity when on vacation.

The top five activities travellers would be prepared to try are:

  • Strength and body weight training (55 per cent)
  • Hot Yoga (42 per cent)
  • Mountaineering/ hiking (41.6 per cent)
  • HIIT swimming (36 per cent)
  • Personal training (35.3 per cent)

Jessica Chuang, director, regional marketing – Greater China, SEA and India, Hotels.com, says, “We love that people are seeing sport as a way to have more rewarding holiday experiences. There’s been a real evolution in holiday priorities and millennial travellers in particular now demand more from a trip. They want deals and perks when they book, like collecting a free night for every 10 nights stayed with Hotels.com Rewards, and fulfilling experiences where they see destinations from a fresh and unique perspective. Social media plays a key role too, as young travellers want to share their life in the touch of a button, and fitness is the latest trend they’re embracing and Instagramming.”

She added, “Fitness options are now so important that millennials are choosing hotels based on how they’ll help them keep fit on vacation – and hotels are really upping their game. From tree house spin studios in St Lucia to guided running tours around Morocco, there are some incredible opportunities for a completely individual acti-vacation.”

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