Leisure travel shrugs off Covid blues in festive season

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New Delhi: Travelling is innate to humans; and the young Indian travel enthusiasts are eyeing the upcoming festive season to step out to celebrate the festive time at home or home away from home, according to new data.

Travel bookings on the Goibibo platform indicate an uptick of 40 per cent in daily check-ins for this year's Diwali season when compared to the average bookings made in October this year. With significant week-on-week travel booking growth, travellers including young couples and a group of friends are set to take leisure trips during this year's Diwali break, the platform shared.

For the young Indians, the one thing that tops the wishlist is to hit the road or the sky or the trail or the waves again. It's an overpowering sentiment that is seeing people especially young Indians venturing out while being mindful of their safety and also that of the others, it said.

As travellers' sentiment shifts before this year-end, the travel platform shared some pertinent travel trends it observed - that gives a good glimpse into the shape of emerging travel trends:

Yearning for 'just us' time

Having been deprived of taking a leisure break over the past seven months or more, one in every two young Indian is now actively considering travelling in the coming weeks, as revealed a survey conducted by Consumer Insights team at Goibibo. This trend is largely driven by millennials and couples who are eager to break away from the lockdown monotony and are looking to spend "just us" time with their partners or close friends away from home. Since Unlock 4.0, there has been a significant uptick in bookings for long weekends and a proportionate spike in staycations during the weekdays.

Booking trends indicate that the long-weekend in October saw 30-40 per cent higher check-ins than other weekends with many making compulsive bookings within 72 hours of travel or less. Also, with people gradually getting comfortable with the idea of taking their first leisure flight for that much-deserved break post the pandemic, there is a growing preference for bookings to distant destinations across Goa, Kerala, Coorg and Darjeeling among others.

Millennials and Gen Z's willing to pay more for higher safety and hygiene at hotels, greater booking and payment flexibility, and other travel value-adds

As safety remains a priority for the industry and travellers alike, young travellers are willing to splurge on their next leisure trip while opting for travel options that promise high-safety standards, offer greater booking and payment flexibility and are clubbed with great deals, discounts and other value-adds. For the upcoming Diwali break, as per the bookings made so far on Goibibo platform, more than 50 per cent of the stay reservations have been made for a premium or mid-premium hotel properties.

Amongst all travel groups, Gen Z is increasingly opting for staycations at hotels and alternative accommodations that offer early check-in and late check-out, deals and discounts on a la carte or in-room dining, and complimentary and safe pick and drop facilities among others.

Travellers aged between 20 years to 30 years from tier II and III cities are actively stepping out to take their first break or holiday post the lockdown. While the initial wave of leisure travel was dominated by travellers from metros, bookings on the Goibibo platform indicate a month-on-month increase in travel demand from tier III cities followed by tier II markets.

The growth is largely driven by the availability of safe inter-city cabs and bus options to some of the popular tourist destinations including Goa, Udaipur, Manali, Jaipur and Darjeeling.

So whichever group you may fit in, you will find your reasons here to pack your bags, mask up and travel!

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