97% INDIANS TIP ON HOLIDAY BUT ONLY 15% BELIEVE THEY’RE GENEROUS TIPPERS, REVEALS TRIPADVISOR SURVEY
Most Bangaloreans conscious of being generous tippers abroad as 80%
feel tipping culture is stronger overseas than in India
Urns labelled “To Insure Promptness” placed
in English pubs in the 18th century is believed to be a possible
origin of the term tipping. Today, it is
almost imperative to tip for the service one receives at hotels, restaurants,
spas, cabs and many more service establishments especially when travelling. While
the concept of tipping may appear fairly simple and commonplace on the outset,
it is in fact a far more complex ritual with a number of rules, expectations
and motivations. The India Tipping Survey conductedbyTripAdvisor®, the
world’s largest travel siteunravels
some of these insights on tipping practices by Indian travellers.
The survey conducted among 1400 respondents found a staggering
97% respondents tip for services while on holiday, which includes 50% who said
they ‘always’ tip on such occasions. On
the other hand, 65% of those who never tip said they don't understand why they
need to pay extra since they are already paying for the service.
Nikhil Ganju, Country
Manager, TripAdvisor India said, “While the survey clearly indicates that the
practice of tipping is heavily prevalent among Indian travellers, it is strange
to note that our perception of Indians as a community of generous tippers is
very low, with only 15% respondents indicating Indians are generous tippers.
Indian travellers also perceived themselves as the least generous tippers among
travellers from among a number of countries, followed by the Chinese.”
Deciding on the Deserving
Top 3 reasons to Tip: 47% respondents said
they tip if staff have met their basic expectations, while
another 40% seem harder to please and only tip if they think staff have gone
the extra mile in their service. It also seems that people feel obliged to tip
as a social norm or courtesy as 35% respondents agreed they tipped simply
because they think it’s expected.
While tipping hotel personnel, helpfulness of service
is the most important factor while in case of restaurant service, the top
reason for tipping waiters is politeness of service.
The Tipping Ritual
-While it seems to be common
practice while vacationing, 92% respondents said they don’t really plan
a tipping budget before going on holiday. However, the 3 services most commonly
at the receiving end of tipping generosity by Indian holidaymakers are waiters (87%),
hotel porters (76%) and room service (59%).
-Though for a majority of 47%
respondents the current economic situation has not impacted tipping habits, an
almost equally large 45% accepted they have reduced their tips as a result of
-While a tip is most often given at the
end of a service, it isn’t uncommon for people to pay tips at the beginning
instead to try and ensure a great experience. In fact 48%
respondents in the survey confessed to tipping hotel staff at the beginning of
their holiday in order to receive better service for the duration of their stay.
However waiters have to be at their best, keep their fingers crossed and wait
until after serving a patron to see the green, with 90% respondents saying they
don’t tip waiters at the beginning of a meal.
-A sizeable 71% of respondents also denied
tipping if a service charge has already been included in the bill or cost of
service. Despite this the opinion is quite equally divided on whether tipping
should be abolished and included in the bill with 40% in favour and 44% against
Tipping habits seem to be
consistent for most Indians as 56% said they tip more or less the same while
travelling within India or abroad. However, 27% said they tip more when they
reason cited by people for tipping more abroad is that they believe the tipping
culture is stronger internationally. Interestingly, the next biggest reason for
tipping more abroad seems to be that vacationers don’t want Indians to appear
as cheap travellers.
vary across cultures and countries and Indian travellers don’t seem to be
ignorant to the fact and want to be aware and clued in on social expectations as
68% respondents said they take the trouble to find out tipping norms and
expectations when travelling to another country.
-The survey shows
that majority of holiday goers tip whatever amount they consider appropriate at
a hotel, restaurant or for a cab. For the next largest group of respondents,
the most popular tip amount for a restaurant is 10% of the bill whereas for cab
and hotels Indians said their tips vary depending on expectation for the
-The survey also
unveils that Indians feel the most pressure or compelled to tip when travelling
within Asia (32%) followed by North America (28%).
- The survey reveals that Indians consider
Americans (56%) followed by the English (31%) to be the most generous
travellers when it comes to tips, based on travel experience and common
perception. However, the scales tip against the Indian traveller as survey
respondents vote Indians as the least generous of tippers (35%) followed by the
Chinese (28%). Further, when asked specifically if they believed Indians were
generous tippers, only 15% responded in the affirmative.
Anything for a tip
While a tip is largely at the discretion of
the customer, service providers do go the extra mile sometimes to ensure they
secure the extra buck. From their tipping experiences, 71% respondents have had
a service provider hint indirectly for a tip whereas 41% have been asked
directly or specifically to part with a tip.Though accounting for a small share,10% even said they have experienced a situation where the provider
of a service returned their tip indicating it was too low.
Women more cautious tippers
While only marginally
more men (52%) ‘always’ tip compared to women(46%), women are harder to satisfy
with service as majority of women respondents
cited their biggest reason to tip as, when the staff have gone an extra mile,
compared to men for whom staff meeting basic expectations is the top reason to
Women also are more
careful if the bill includes a service charge with 10% more women than men
saying they don’t tip in the case. Also 49% women are of the view that tipping
should be abolished and included in the bill compared to 38% men. Survey
results also show that the current economic situation impacted more women, with
half of the female respondents acknowledging reducing their tips compared to
It also seems that
more men tend to be at the receiving end of tipping angst:
·21% men were confronted sometime about not
tipping compared to only 11% women
·42% men were asked directly for a tip as
opposed to 35% women.
·11% men had their tip returned while only 4% women
were returned their tip
Comparing responses from Chennai, Bangalore,
Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, the survey reveals:
·Chennai had the
largest percentage of respondents(63%) who said they ‘always’ tip on holiday
and Kolkata had the lowest at 42%
·While Delhi, Mumbai,
Kolkata and Chennai seem easy to please with majority of the respondents in
each city tipping if staff meets basic expectations. Hyderabad seems harder to
please with the top reason to tip is when the staff goes an extra mile.
from Delhi said they tip more when on holiday abroad, highest among the 6
·More Delhiites (80%)
are affected in their decision to tip when a restaurant or hotel includes a
service charge to the bill while least Kolkatans (56%) are concerned by it.
·More Mumbaikars (72%)
are eager to find out tipping norms and expectations when travelling abroad
with lowest percentage of Hyderabadis (60%) worried about the same.
·Largest percentage of
Mumbaikars (49%) have a strong view on abolishing tipping and including it in