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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

The young and the restless: Indians take to travelling alone

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 06, 2012
First Published: 01:01 IST(6/5/2012) | Last Updated: 01:03 IST(6/5/2012)

When Mahim resident Savita Nair set off for Singapore a few months ago, her only companion was her strolley bag. In fact, for the past two years, it has been her only companion on most leisure trips.

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“My Facebook account is full of friends I’ve made on solo vacations,” said the 38-year-old creative director with an advertising firm.

Young adults with large disposable incomes and no families yet are increasingly choosing to travel alone rather than waste time trying to matching holiday dates and destinations with friends.

This summer, for instance, 63% of travellers booked with travel portal Cleartrip.com holidayed alone. A survey of 1,500 people conducted by travel website Tripadvisor.com also revealed that 64% of women travellers in India prefer vacationing by themselves.

Travel experts say the segment is likely to witness steady growth. “The average age of marriage has shifted from 30 to the mid-30s, leaving many young professionals with higher disposable incomes and little liability,” said Manmeet Aluwalia, marketing head for travel website Expedia.co.in. “As a result, the solo vacations market is growing at 25% to 30% a year.”

Jogeshwari resident Anand Iyer is part of this growing segment. “When I feel like taking a break, I don’t bother calling a friend,” says the marketing executive. “I just book myself a discounted travel package and set off. I’m a photography freak, so my camera is all the company I need.”


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