The extended weekend holidays of Diwali are fueling a surge in travel among Indians, with players in the hospitality and tourism sectors seeing a surge in demand.
While domestic destinations such as Goa, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Kerala remain popular, short-haul international holidays to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have also become favorites for many travellers.
“Diwali, Bhai Dooj and Govardhan Puja offer an attractive long weekend that fuels the desire to travel. Our data points to a strong recovery, with our Diwali demand pipeline growing by more than 3-fold yoy,” said Thomas Cook (India) Ltd Head (Holidays, MICE, Visa) Rajeev Kale.
As customers make the most of the five to nine-day opportunity for a festive holiday with family and friends, he said, “Domestic tourism is clearly on the upswing, with the festival season registering a 25 percent year-on-year surge in bookings.”
Hotel and travel technology company OYO, citing its 2022 Festival Season Report, said demand during the upcoming Diwali holiday between Oct. 22, 2022 increased by 108 percent year-on-year.
“Starting with Durga Puja and Dussehra, we have already seen a healthy 90-100 percent increase in booking requests for the festive season this year compared to 2021,” said an OYO spokesman.
Daniel D’Souza, President of SOTC Travel and Country Head – Holidays, said that pent-up travel desire is driving key demand and customer confidence is at an all-time high, with Indians across all segments showing increasing interest in travel to their favorite destinations – domestic and international.
“Customers are keen to take advantage of the upcoming festive weekend and we have a strong pipeline of customers planning last minute trips – booking holidays 7 to 10 days in advance; (there is) an impressive increase in last minute bookings of over 70 percent over other weekends in the October-November period,” he added.
Speaking of domestic destinations, Kale said, “Demand for places like Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Leh Ladakh, Kerala, Goa, Andaman and the North East, as well as Rajasthan and Gujarat is at an all-time high.”
For OYO, Goa is the top destination with the most advance bookings for the upcoming Diwali holiday, followed by Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
D’Souza also said SOTC has experienced high demand for Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan; while Goa and Andaman remain the top beach destinations in the country.
“Post-pandemic, the growing trend of people traveling to remote locations and second and third cities has continued, and in this festive season most locations across the country are also showing full capacity,” the Hotel and Restaurant Association said the President of the West Indies (HRAWI), Pradeep Shetty.
Regarding international destinations, MakeMyTrip Co-Founder and Group CEO Rajesh Magow said, “We have seen a consistent and robust recovery in leisure travel to domestic destinations as well as short-haul international destinations in Southeast Asia, the UAE, etc.”
Similarly, Kale said: “We are seeing an uptrend for short-haul destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia in Southeast Asia with a 30 percent increase in demand; also Dubai-Abu Dhabi by 30 percent, the Maldives by 15 percent and Mauritius by 10 percent.”
Easy visa or non-visa destinations such as countries like Oman that do not require a visa if they hold a long-term US/Schengen visa are doing well, he added.
D’Souza said Vietnam and Cambodia are also emerging as new targets.
“Australia is seeing strong demand due to the upcoming (T20 World Cup) cricket matches from October 2022, also this time of year is the best time to visit the destination,” he added.
This story was published from a wire agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the headline has been changed.