Correspondent (Hyderabad) As the reality of living along with the virus seems to sink in, people are eager to undertake travel immediately to meet their professional, personal and academic requirements. A majority of responders (63% ) gave a thumbs up to #AbhiTravelKarenge as soon as services start, while 16.8% said they would wait for initial rush to taper, only 14% said they would travel on need basis while the rest said they would wait for 2-3 months or wait for more guidelines from the Government. The respondents about 60% of them also anticipated an increase in travel fare.
AbhiBus.com, a leading online bus ticketing aggregator in India, has conducted a nationwide online bus travel survey to find out whether people are willing to travel immediately after the lock down is completely lifted or are they looking to postpone their journey due to increase in the COVID 19 cases. Named as ‘India Bus Travel Survey’, the Abhibus travel survey has surprisingly noted that the people are very optimistic and not shying away from travelling immediately once the travel restrictions are lifted.
However, they preferred to have a sanitized environment which enables a safe journey and while respondents prioritized social distancing and cleanness and hygiene as critical requirements, factors like increase in cost of travel fares and on time and reliable service figured later in their list.
Commenting on the survey findings, Mr Rohit Sharma, COO, Abhibus.com said, “We have received an overwhelming response for the survey within a span of 48 hours, 3,000 plus respondents say they have their professional, social and academic obligations that need to be fulfilled. There seems to be consensus amongst the respondents that life needs to go on, lockdown cannot be a way of life and #AbhiTravelKarnege seems to be their call. At the same time respondents were very clear about the need for safety, social distancing and many even were looking for COVID related insurance.”
Survey Findings: Clearly #ABhiTravelKarenge is the trend
Majority of the people (close to 80%) responding to the survey said that they are willing to travel immediately once the lock down is uplifted as they have urgent travel plans which have been pending for a long time. Professionals who are also planning their travel to continue their operations. Otherwise, the business continuity will be in danger, they think.
The passengers are, however, concerned about maintaining social distancing during the travel. More than 80% of them have expressed their concern about social distance and all of them want to make sure their personal hygienic materials such as hand sanitizers are being carried with them. Almost all of them want to eat only home cooked food to avoid any exposure to the external environment.
#AbhiTravelKarenge – How Quickly and Who:
• 63% of the people would like to travel immediately after the lifting the lock down as they need to reach some places urgently. 16.8% people are opting to wait for 1 to 2 weeks to initial rush to be settled down. About 14% of them are not sure when they will travel but, they go for travel depending on requirement. Interestingly hardly a few people said they can wait until the pandemic is completely under control.
• The passengers seem to have a clear idea about when will the travel industry, especially bus industry, will get back to normal. 38% of the passengers believe that the industry will be normal in 2-3 months.
• 67.9% of the people who would like to travel are working professionals while 16.4% of them are students. Businessmen, government servants and home makers are put together less than 15% who are willing to travel during this time.
• Most of these respondents of this survey are frequent travelers, approximately 60% of them travel at least 6 or more times in a year.
• 57.5% people will be travelling for work purpose while 19.5% of the students would like to come back to hometown or school/college town. 16.8% people will be travelling to attend the family functions. Interestingly a very few people opt for leisure/holiday travel during this time.
#AbhiTravelKarenge Safely, despite anticipated fare hike and with insurance of a new kind
• 60% anticipate travel fare hike with approximately 21% anticipating 25-50% hikes.
• Everybody is concerned about their safety. So, 43.8% of the passengers said that the social distancing will be the high priority when they travel next time than any other issue. And 36.2% people are expecting cleanliness and hygiene while only 11.2% people concerned for travel cost.
• 45.5% of the passengers are expecting to have a sanitized waiting area. While 24.6% of them are wanting to have a COVID-19 insurance cover, 11.3% of them are okay with the regular insurance. Only 18.7% ask for free cancellation and full refund.
#AbhiTravelKarenge carrying Homecooked Food, snuggling up in their own blankets and of course will not leave the ubiquitous hand sanitizer behind
• 64.9% of the passengers would like to bring their own blankets while travelling in A/C buses while 19.1% of them are also considering this option. Only 16% of them have no priorities.
• 87.7% passengers are preferring only home cooked food while only 9% would like to eat at the restaurants where bus halts.
• 95% of the passengers would like to take their own hand sanitizer during the travel, while less than 5% are not bothered.