February 5, 2021 7:10:57 pm
While for the most part of 2020 travelling had stopped as India was in a state of lockdown, in the latter part of the year, journeys resumed, continuing in 2021, albeit with some changes. While international travel is hardly happening — barring a few select countries — Indians have been exploring local and domestic destinations more. A new survey conducted by digital travel company Booking.com has, in fact, corroborated this, sharing with indianexpress.com that 49 per cent of travellers plan to explore a new destination within their home country.
The same survey revealed that while 52 per cent of Indian travellers plan to travel within their country in the medium term (7-12 months’ time), 41 per cent plan to do so in the longer term (in over a year’s time). In fact, Srinagar, Digha, Manali, Goa and Alibaug are some of the top trending destinations for Indians travelling from Feb 1 to Feb 28, 2021 as compared to the same time last year.
Most importantly — when it comes to local travel — 50 per cent of Indians will take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of their home country, and 57 per cent intend to travel somewhere they have already previously visited, for its familiarity.
Holidaying with pets
The survey also found that travelling with pets has interested people in recent months, with Booking.com’s ‘pet-friendly’ filter having been used a lot. In fact, the trend is likely to continue throughout 2021 and beyond.
While local travel will continue to keep people occupied in 2021, the desire to jet-set to far-flung places still remains strong. The appreciation for familiarity is in tandem with enduring love and anticipation of international travel. Almost 25 per cent of Indian travellers intend to travel to the other side of the world by the end of 2021, compared to only 12 per cent last year.
Commenting on the study, Ritu Mehrotra, regional manager, South Asia at Booking.com said: “While it will be some time before travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, all signs point to the fundamental and enduring role that travel plays in our lives. Looking ahead, staying closer to home and becoming familiarists rather than tourists will continue to be at the forefront of travel agendas. Rediscovering India and travelling like a local is what 2021 is going to be about.”
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