‘Meet India’s Passionistas’ report reveals India’s passion based friendships across the Nation


Passionista’s characteristics are most prominent in Mumbai and New Delhi, according to a survey commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board

Friday, 12th April: 76.2% Mumbaikars and 82.4% Delhiites spends a portion of their monthly earnings on to pursue their passion. More than two third of the respondents in each city (Delhi – 63.4% and Mumbai – 73.4%) state that they have passions, secret interests or hobbies that their family, friends or work colleagues may not be aware of.

More than a third of Mumbaikars (34.9%) and more than a quarter of Delhiites (25.2%) claim they would be ready to take a salary cut to pursue their passion. One-in-six Mumbaikars (15.8%) and one-in-eight Delhiites (12.4%) state their ‘friends’, ‘likes’, and followers’ on social media are based on mutual hobbies or interests.

Today, passion plays an important role in defining an individual’s life. Nationally, when meeting someone for the first time socially, after having introduced themselves the top choice of topic for conversation for more than a third respondents (36.5%) are their hobbies or interests.

An individual’s attitude towards time and money management; and often even their descriptions of themselves are skewed towards their passion. A new piece of research commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board, “Meet India’s Passionistas”, based on primary data sourced from 14 cities across the country1, highlighted the new roles, definitions and relationships that Indians are now assuming beyond identities based on conventional descriptions such as family status, career choices and region of residence or origin.

For instance, the proportion of respondents who claimed they made friendships based on hobbies or interests is well above the national average (17.98%) in Delhi (24.3%), Kolkata (19.2%) and Pune (21.4%). Mumbai and Jaipur’s propensity to forge friendships on the basis of their passion is even higher at 30.6% and 30.2% respectively. In contrast, Ahmedabad remains traditional in their approach to friendships and 74.3% make friends with people from their neighbourhood.


One of an interesting insights from the report was that although all cities surveyed demonstrated an element of secrecy associated with their passions, for instance, Delhi (59.6%), Jaipur (62.1%), Pune (59.7%), Kochi (59.5%) and Mumbai (58.9%) are more prone to pursuing passions that their friends, relatives, and colleagues are not aware of compared to the national average of 52.4%, Hyderabad’s propensity for intrigue is extraordinarily high at 95.7%.

95.2% of respondents in Hyderabad claim they spend more than 50% of their monthly earnings to pursue their passions, and 77.3% work on their passions daily or over the weekend while simultaneously pursuing a regular job, but 64.4% maintain that their family, friends or work colleagues may not be aware of these.

These insights were corroborated by secondary data which states 26% women have been on solo trips not just to experience a destination, but also to meet new people and learn about new cultures2. About 27% women say that they have plans to go on solo trips in the future to explore their hobbies and passions.3

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 that help them connect with their passion. Further, they are willing to spend their time and money in pursuits of activities on their vacation that they associate with things they are passionate about. The Meet India’s Passionistas 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. 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 time has come when people believe that their passion is something real, tangible and worth investing in – through both time and money. Today, it is passion that eventually drives everything people do. Such ideology, when directed towards any particular cause, has an impact on the dynamics of the larger national and international decisions, such as a country’s economy, international relations, etc.

About Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.