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Road trips, off-beat destinations top picks among travellers from city

Affordable airfares and hotel rooms encouraged travel, and the ease of making complete bookings on mobile phones has contributed to the rise in numbers, according to travel portals.

Written by Neha Kulkarni | Mumbai |
December 28, 2017 2:55:04 am
travel industry, travel websites, Foreign Tourist Arrival, FTA, foreign tourists in India, indian express, E-Tourist Visa, tour and trips 20% rise in bookings compared to last year. Pic for representation.

The travel industry has seen a 20 per cent increase in bookings this year compared to the last, according to data received from various websites. The numbers suggest that budget travel and offbeat destinations have been the most preferred this year.

“Considering some major economic reforms brought about in the country, the travel industry was expected to take a hit. But on the contrary, digitisation and online payments brought more foreign tourists. The FTA (Foreign Tourist Arrival) has increased by 18 per cent in October 2017 compared to October 2016 and FTA on E-Tourist Visa went up by 67 per cent in October 2017 compared to October 2016,” said Manheer Singh Sethi, the Co-Founder, Travkart.

“Domestic air traffic increased by 16 per cent in August 2017 compared to August 2016 and even the hotel industry was able to mark a double digit upward trend in terms of total bookings received compared to 2016,” Sethi added.
Affordable airfares and hotel rooms encouraged travel, and the ease of making complete bookings on mobile phones has contributed to the rise in numbers, according to travel portals.

According to data given by a travel booking website, Ixigo, bookings for both flights and hotels have seen a spike from last year. Flight bookings have increased three times and hotel bookings have increased four times in 2017 compared to last year. There has been an increased demand for adventure trips.

“Self-driving is the country’s new immersive travel experience. With better roads and highway connectivity, the young population is opting for road trips. Self-drive holidays have seen an upsurge with today’s travellers wanting to explore more about their destinations,” said Sharat Dhall, COO(B2C), Yatra.com.

Karan Anand, Head Relationships, Cox and Kings Limited, said: “Short weekend trips to nearby destinations (flight time between three and five hours) and weekend travel, which was mainly popular in metro cities, are picking up in tier 2 cities as well. Apart from domestic destinations, travellers showed interest mainly in short-haul international destinations like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Hong Kong for short weekend trips.”

Demand for home stays, combining leisure travel in business trips and medical tours also witnessed an increase in 2017 compared to last year. “Unexplored destinations attract millennials who wish to explore off-beat places. Domestic destinations like Bir Billing and Alleppey, Gokarna, Munnar, Spiti Valley and Ziro are gaining quick
popularity. Also, international destinations like Norway, Iceland, Peru, Seychelles and Vietnam are attracting Indians who wish to explore beyond the conventional places,” Dhall added.

Sethi said: “The average of overall travel bookings for December 2017, which the industry trends indicate, has gone up by around 20 per cent from last year. We can clearly say that people have started spending more on travel. This is also indicated by the fact that even for periods when flight fares have remained fairly high, we have not observed a major dip in bookings.” neha.kulkarni@expressindia.com

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