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HomeUncategorizedTravel portals see a surge in bookings

Travel portals see a surge in bookings

For many people, long weekends are the perfect opportunity to pack up their travel bags and get out of town for a mini-vacation. And the long weekend ahead — Saturday, Sunday and Monday (October 2) — is seeing a major uptick in bookings on travel portals as well as hotels.

What is noteworthy this year is the trend of taking multiple holidays instead of one long vacation (Photo: Shutterstock)
What is noteworthy this year is the trend of taking multiple holidays instead of one long vacation (Photo: Shutterstock)

Industry insiders reveal a consistent upward trend for a quick getaway. “This is resulting in an over 3x increase in travel demand compared to the previous weeks of August — for both domestic and closer-to-home international locales,” says Rajeev Kale, president and country head, Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Adding to this, Mehul Sharma, founder and CEO, Signum Hotels & Resorts, chimes in, “From an industry perspective, long weekends in India are witnessing a consistent upward trend. With more people prioritising experiences over possessions, the desire to explore new destinations has increased. Earlier this year, we had seen hotel bookings increase by 2.5 times during the extended August 15 holiday period.”

Multiple short breaks, drive-cations on the list

What is noteworthy this year is the trend of taking multiple holidays instead of one long vacation. Kale shares, “Now, Indians are taking multiple, short-duration holidays to short-haul and easy-visa destinations. Families, millennials and young professionals are also looking at drive-cations and mini-cations to nearby offbeat places.” Sudeep Jain, MD, SWA, IHG Hotels and Resorts, says, “Since the travel sentiment is on an all-time high, travellers are moving away from luxury accommodations, and the demand is shifting more towards leisure getaways, heralding a noticeable change in travel trends.” Reservations are on the rise, particularly in regions offering a blend of recreation and tourism. Some of the destinations have recorded average occupancy rates of 80–90%, driven by the demand.

Popular and newer destinations in demand

Travellers seem to be more inclined towards evergreen destinations such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Kerala, Goa and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Nepal and Bhutan are also finding several takers. Among the newer destinations being explored are Mashobra, Gokarna, Coorg, Wayanad, Wadagaon, Ajmer and Puducherry.

Despite higher airfares and hotel rates, Daniel D’Souza, president and country head, Holidays, SOTC Travel, shares, “Our search data indicates high interest for domestic locales including Kashmir, the North East, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Goa. People are also keen on heading out to easy visa destinations like Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Oman, the Maldives, Mauritius and Hong Kong for the upcoming extended weekend.”

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