Indians prefer Beckham over Bond Craig as travelmate

Mumbai, June 28 (IANS) Nearly one-third travellers from India would love to travel with iconic English footballer David Beckham as a British celeb travel partner, a first-ever ‘Travel Habit Survey’ by British Airways revealed here on Tuesday.

While 32 percent of more than 500 Indian respondents chose Beckham, actress-model of Harry Potter fame Emma Watson stood next at 29 percent.

Daniel Craig, who has portrayed the iconic but fictional British spy James Bond, ranked third with 24 percent, or less than one-fourth of the total respondents, in the survey conducted in February-March this year in Asia-Pacific countries.

Interestingly, Beckham is equally popular among the choices of flying companion from travellers in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, while Watson is a favourite in Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Ironically, nearly half the Indians – 48 percent – said they were inspired to visit the UK after watching the popular James Bond movies, 42 percent by Harry Potter films and 34 percent by the literary legend Sherlock Holmes.

On dream destinations, 24 percent of Indian travellers picked Paris as their top, followed by 20 percent who chose London. Paris has topped the list of dream destination even in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

Indians were found to be most ‘family-focused’ compared with the other countries with 64 percent saying availability of family fun activities was the most important factor while choosing a holiday destination, besides historical landmarks, and even better if these came along with great shopping opportunities.

Responding to airport shopping preferences, 27 percent Indians said they like to buy food and drink items while travelling, designer clothes and jewellery came second for women, with men (15 percent) preferring perfumes/colognes from airport stores.

More than half the participants prioritized availability of restaurants-cafes when selecting a new travel destination, 41 percent picked Oxford Street as the top shopping have in London, while 30 percent angled for designer outlet malls for discounted luxury goods.

British Airways South Asia Regional Manager Moran Birger said the survey provided interesting insights on the Indian leisure and business travellers and the outcome would enable the airline to focus on making their flying experience even better.



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