New Delhi: For 30-year old Surya Sadhasivan of Chennai, easing of COVID related restrictions translated into a motorcycle trip with his school friend. With safety gears in place, the bikers are currently on a 1,300-km long seven-day trip that covers Trichy, Kodaikanal, and Dindugal.
We started carrying our food for the journey and we preferred to book secluded and safe hotels on Airbnb for this trip, ”said Sadhasivan, who works at a software development company.
As states relax restrictions and waiving off COVID testing requirements, more and more people are beginning to take road trips on weekends, work and accommodation. Online travel agents said they have seen a weekly spike in travel package searches and bookings to car travel destinations, generally within 300 kilometers of the original city.
Government tourism boards are also working to incentivize visitors in addition to removing the requirement for coronavirus testing. Uttarakhand, for example, has launched a Tourist Incentive Voucher Program under which all tourists who register on the Dehradun smart city portal will get a discount of up to Rs 3,000 or 25% of the accommodation fee (whichever is less) according to a maximum of three days of stay.
Tourists from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, and Uttar Pradesh visit the state for an average travel duration of two to seven days.
Dilip Jawalkar, Uttarakhand Secretary of Tourism and Executive Director of the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board said hotels in major tourist destinations have received more than 80% of bookings.
"Chardhaam Yatra and adventure tourism are also beginning to pick up their pace. According to recent data from the local rowing association, Rishikesh alone has registered more than 4,000 tourists since September 26, after the popular adventure activity of kayaking on the White Water River, "he added.
MakeMyTrip and Goibibo said stays have increased 30% since opening 4.0 compared to the days leading up to the injury, while weekend packages have also seen a 25% increase compared to booking numbers. in January and February of this year. Goa, Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital, Manali, Coorg, and Rishikesh remain the top destinations for drivable getaways.
“We can say that this trend will only continue to see an upward trajectory in the coming months. For an expected period, professionals will continue to work remotely and many will choose a location outside of their work base, be it on the hills, beaches, or from some attractive location. We work closely. With hotels and our alternative accommodation partners to ensure that people can book from a variety of options that provide a comfortable setup with 24/7 connectivity, power backup support, comfortable furniture, and more, said Vipul Prakash, COO of MakeMyTrip and Goibibo.
On Yatra.com, there is a 32% increase in booking inquiries for weekend trips, as 74% of customers prefer 4- and 5-star hotels followed by homestays and homestays. About 67% of people book hotels within two days of the trip. Major city occupations include New Delhi (Jaipur, Nainital, Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Lansdowne), Mumbai (Panchgani, Lonavala, and Alibog), Chennai, (Vellore, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry), Bengaluru (Savandurga, Ramanagram, Nandi Hills, Bheemeshwari), Kolkata, (Roopark Village, Junput, Bishnupur, Shantiniketan) and Goa (Nersa, Dandeli, Dudhsagar Falls, and Amboli).
"In the unlock phase, more travelers seek short-distance destinations with adequate sterilization and security measures." "As customer trust builds, we can expect destinations to see leverage," said Sabina Chopra, co-founder, and COO of Yatra.com.
Airbnb India said that more than 20% of searches on its platform are for extended stays and that Goa continues to be the most searched destination for family accommodation, followed by Lonavala, Shimla, and places in Uttarakhand.
Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager of Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, said that booking trends have shown us that unique stays and larger homes have emerged as an option for family and friends to be together during longer breaks and stay options.
"We see additional interest in home-away-from-home comforts and long-term travel attracting a number of individuals and families who want to establish a remote work base away from their homes. We believe these trends will continue to drive the market with the demand for more intimate accommodations ".