Travel is back in a big way and consumers are excited to make up for lost holidays over the past two years. With a steady rise in vaccination coverage across geographies, combined with the easing of restrictions across regions, travellers have embraced the spirit of travel wholeheartedly, especially during holidays and festive long weekends in India, the US, the UK and Europe.
As per OYO's booking analysis, consumers across the world are increasingly opting for short-haul destinations and making last-minute bookings over planned trips. Across Europe, summer travel saw the highest bounce back in demand. Whereas, Americans travelled the most during the Labor Day long weekend of September 4 - 6, 2021. Closer to home, in India, the long weekends of Gandhi Jayanti and Dussehra ranked as the topmost holidays for travellers in 2021.
India is a land of diversities. This means many elaborate festivals and holidays. In India, some of the most popular holidays for travellers took place in the second half of this year, starting with Janmashtami in August, followed by Ganesh Chaturthi and Dussehra which saw a spike in bookings. This optimism around travel can be attributed to higher vaccination coverage and the opening up of several states for tourism in comparison to early 2021.
Indian travellers preferred spending their holidays across the country's beautiful tourist destinations such as Jaipur, Goa, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Udaipur during the festive season. Interestingly, short-haul destinations continue to be the go-to option for travellers across the country over long weekends. Some of the top short-haul destinations are Lonavala, Pondicherry, Shimla, Mysore. All of these destinations sit close to mainstream cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi and Bangalore, indicating that city folks are looking for respite closer to home.
The long weekend of Dussehra saw a hike in demand, with an increase in trips to nearby destinations for a quick break. In India, last-minute bookings continue to be on the rise. Not surprisingly, Indians travel to destinations known for their festive cheer. During a festival, the preference for destinations well-known to celebrate the festival with great vigour witnessed a spike in bookings. For instance, during Ganesh Chaturthi, locals preferred going on short-haul trips to locations like Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Lonavala, and Mumbai. The most recent long weekend of Guru Nanak Jayanti saw the majority of bookings for Varanasi, Jaipur, Goa, Puri and Alibaug.
Top holidays in India/Most booked destinations
Diwali: Kochi, Jaipur, Goa, Visakhapatnam and Agra
Ganesh Chaturthi: Kochi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam and Agra
Dussehra: Jaipur, Goa, Mysore, Varanasi, and Kochi
Durga Puja: Jaipur, Kochi, Mysore, Goa, and Varanasi. In the North East, preferred locations were Puri, Gangtok and Digha