Where and how are people travelling this summer? - Hindustan Times
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Where and how are people travelling this summer?

May 11, 2024 12:29 PM IST

Tantra retreats, Southeast Asian destinations, and spiritual destination-hopping to beat the heat are taking summer tourism in India to the next level.

There’s something particularly appealing about jetting off to a new destination under the summer (Tuscan) sun, whether it is waddling down European cobblestone sidewalks with a gelato or going to a burnout retreat somewhere scenic. As we dive into the peak summer, most travellers are either already escaping the extreme temperatures for somewhere sublime or the rest revelling in the exultant joy of travel planning when the temperatures start evening out. For the latter, we are rounding up some intriguing intel from online travel booking behemoths, predicting some of the most popular trends that dominate this summer.

With countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka extending visa-free entry and more predicted to follow, cities across Southeast Asia are attracting the most number of Indian tourists.
With countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka extending visa-free entry and more predicted to follow, cities across Southeast Asia are attracting the most number of Indian tourists.

Accommodation: Premium homestays are on the rise

While homestays observed a big boom in 2023, according to MakeMyTrip’s Summer Travel Trends 2024 report, an average rate of Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 7,000 per night continues to comprise of around 45% of all homestay booking. While this category continues to remain a budget, and not to forget more culturally immersive, options for Indian travellers, homestays, alongside villas are recording the highest growth for properties with tariffs around & over 20,000 per night

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This indicative premiumization trend is highlighted further as the highest growth is being recorded in the Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 per night tariff category.

International tourism: South Asian destinations rival some newcomers

With countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka extending visa-free entry and more predicted to follow, cities across Southeast Asia are attracting the most number of Indian tourists. Phuket, Singapore, Bali, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur dominated MakeMyTrip’s ‘Top 10’ (international) search and booking trend category, nodding to their supremacy. Among the newcomers, Baku (Azerbaijan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), and Nagoya (Japan) are experiencing substantial growth in search queries—which potentially can steal some of the footfall from popular cities.

Wellness: Trantra retreats, Vedic psychology and water-centric vacationing gain momentum

A notable 83% of travellers agree that proximity to water instantly induces relaxation, while 38% of Indian travellers express keen interest in water-centric vacations. As travellers embrace these water-centric experiences, a surge in activities like floating yoga, water sound baths and snow meditation can easily be anticipated.

Domestic destination: Goa continues to impress domestic and international visitors, Srinagar and Udaipur follow

Goa’s reputation as the leader among domestic destinations in the past years is poised to remain consistent, unveiled MakeMyTrip, followed by Srinagar and Udaipur in terms of the highest growth in searches as compared from Mar-Apr 2023 to Mar-Apr 2024. While Goa ticks all the essential summer travel check boxes for Indian travellers, its international appeal for sundowners became evident from Pinterest’s summer travel report 2024 which revealed a 270% in searches for “Goa nightlife”.

Gen Z spotlight: Marking their first paycheck for international travel and budget road-tripping with friends

While cost has been a determining factor for young travellers, many of today’s Gen Z population are earmarking their first paycheck for a trip abroad. Skyscanner reveals an astonishing 81% choose to plan their first overseas adventure after landing their first job or receiving their first paycheck. Another wholesome trend that Pinterest spotted is Gen-zers inclination “to forge deeper connections with friends through intimate, budget-friendly road trips,” with searches growing for “What do bring on a road trip” (+66%), “Places to go with friends list” (+50%), “Nature with friends” (+50%) and more.

Europe on ‘them mind: EU lures Indian travellers with the possibility of obtaining a 2 to 5-year visa

With the newest potential to obtain a multi-entry Schenegan visa, EU destinations are dominating summer itineraries. According to Skyscanner, Indian Gen Z travellers are drawn to Europe's vibrant cultures and historical landmarks, with over 40% listing it as their top destination. “Europe is a highly aspirational destination and at Thomas Cook, we have been witnessing a strong 30% uptick in demand for Summer 2024. Indians are quintessential value seekers and with just one Schengen visa, the allure of a multi-country trip is hard to refuse!,” said Rajeev Kale - President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa - Thomas Cook (India) Limited.

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