Young India Reveals Its Hidden Passionate Side

A recent survey shows more than half of Indians (55%) admit to harboring a secret passion, hidden from their immediate friends and families, while this figure increases to 64% when the younger generation is considered (Generation Z, aged between 18 and 25).  

Such passions are assuming increasing importance in Indians’ lives, with 77% of the population dedicating at least a quarter of their salaries on such passions every month.

The emerging role of passions in determining how people spend their time and how they identify themselves was revealed in a new piece of research commissioned and launched today by the Singapore Tourism Board, Passionistas in India”. The report, based on primary data sourced from 14 cities across the country, highlighted the new roles, definitions and relationships that Indians are now assuming beyond identities based on traditional factors such as family, profession and location.  

One-in-five respondents across all age groups (20%) claim to dedicate at least one hour a day to their passion, while for a similar proportion (18%) such hobbies and interests now represent their principle way of making new friends. The last trend is even more pronounced when considering India’s younger generations; 22.5% of Generation Z (18-25) make most of their friends through their passions compared to 18% for millennials (26-35), 16.5% for those aged between 36- 45 and just 15% of those above 46. These insights were corroborated by secondary data which states that 64% of youngsters in India use social media to make new friends, and 95% youngsters in India use social media for the purpose of social networking. In fact, a research paper by International Journal of Computer Applications Technology and Research states that social networking sites helps people to not only make new friends but also share content, pictures, audios, videos amongst them.

GB Srithar, Regional Director (South Asia, Middle East and Africa), STB explained that the concept of ‘passionista’ is aligned with the Board’s brand “Passion Made Possible” and gives a peek into how Indians see themselves, who they connect with, and how they channel their passions into something meaningful.  

He said, “India continues to be the third largest visitor arrival source market for Singapore. In 2018, we welcomed more than 1.4 million visitors from India, a 13% increase over 2017. Increasingly, people travel to satiate their passions. Travellers seek unique experiences and are willing to spend their time and money in pursuits that are defined by their passion points. The Passionista report confirms that Indian travellers’ passions play a critical role in determining how they relate to society, where they travel and how they spend their energies.”

The STB launched its brand campaign ‘Passion Made Possible’ in August 2017. This approach showcases Singapore’s unique attitude and mindset: a passion-driven, never-settling spirit of determination and enterprise that constantly pursues possibilities and reinvention. It is a brand that captures the spirit of Singapore – a place shaped by its people and their passions, and driven by their passion to constantly pursue new possibilities for progress. As part of the brand campaign, the STB introduced its ‘Passion Tribe’ strategy that groups potential visitors together based on their lifestyles, interests and what they travel for.

Singapore is promoted as a destination for seven ‘Passion Tribes’, allowing consumers to cultivate their passions and interests in the city: Action Seekers, Foodies, Collectors, Culture Shapers, Explorers, Socialisers and Progressors.  

Following the unveiling of the campaign, various initiatives and activities have been conducted in India such as presenting “Singapore Weekender”, a three-day experiential festival, in partnership with St+art India; marketing tie-ups with Paytm and Ola; reaching audiences in secondary cities through roadshows; and launching an English music video with Vh1 India. The street survey is the STB’s latest effort to better understand the Indian consumers and connect with them.  

Srithar opined that the reports’ findings had implications beyond the immediate travel and tourism sector. The report highlighted that when meeting someone for the first time socially, 37% of Indians identify themselves through their hobbies and interests. This beats more traditional topics such as their profession or qualifications (14.6%) and marital/family status (35.7%). Srithar concluded, “In essence, Indians – in particular the younger generation – are increasingly defining themselves by their passions. Such insights will influence the engagement and communication efforts for those trying to reach them.” 


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