Travel patterns from India to Malaysia have shifted from summer and year-end peaks – common during pre-pandemic – to exploration throughout the year now.
Malaysian agents handling the Indian market also shared that Indian customers are now spending one or two nights more and are increasingly open to investing in memorable experiences and embracing new adventures.
Muhammad Arsalan, general manager of Universal Holidays, disclosed that in the past year, his Indian travellers are staying an average of four to six nights, compared to the previous two to four nights.
Another noteworthy observation he made was that many Indians were now opting for four- and five-star international hotel brands in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Langkawi, whereas previously they preferred three-star options or local four- and five-star brands that were less expensive than international ones.
Arsalan attributed this upgraded accommodation preference to the weak ringgit, which has given Indian travellers more buying power in Malaysia.
Zulkifli Rahman, director of sales and marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, has also noticed changes in Indian travel patterns.
He shared that, on average, Indian guests are now spending five to seven nights, as compared to three or four nights pre-pandemic. There is also a spike in multi-generational Indian groups on property, with guests dedicating more time to exploring the destination rather than confining themselves in the resort.
Zulkifli added that long girlie weekends are also becoming popular among Indian female customers.
For repeat Indian travellers, SBS Pradeep Kumar, director and COO, Asian Famous Tours & Travel, said new and exciting destinations are big draws, especially as they move beyond popular traditional places like Kuala Lumpur, Genting, Penang, and Langkawi. He noted a growing interest in places like Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, as well as emerging destinations such as Desaru Coast in Johor and the city of Melaka among repeat guests.
And in a world where social media rules, Instagram-worthy experiences are an important motivator for Indian millennials to pick fresh destinations, observed Pradeep.