A large number of Indians have chosen cooler holiday destinations in Europe for their winter trip, according to the data obtained from various tour operators and travel portals.
Thomas Cook (India), for instance, saw up to 50% rise in Europe-bound Indian tourists between October and December.
“While Europe travel comes to a standstill usually in the September-October period, our graph saw an upward movement this year. We had travellers leaving for Europe till December 25. This is unprecedented and a significant shift in travel patterns,” said Jatinder Paul Singh, senior vice-president and head of sales and distribution, outbound leisure travel, Thomas Cook (India).
Off-season rates and unique winter itineraries drew families from not just metro cities, but smaller tier-2 and tier-3 towns too, said Singh.
Short-haul foreign destinations within Asia, however, continued to draw a bulk of Indian tourists. For instance, Dubai (65%) saw the highest growth, followed by Singapore-Malaysia (37%) and Thailand (16%), according to travel portal MakeMyTrip.
“This year, the airfares were quite affordable on advance purchase windows, mobile bookings were heavily incentivised and overall economic indicators looked up. Travellers preferred multiple and shorter vacations this year. We also witnessed a spike in people planning short winter vacations,” said Rajesh Magow, co-founder and chief executive officer (India), MakeMytrip.
Booking analysis also showed the average duration of trips during the Christmas-New Year week increased from four nights to five nights.