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Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel reveal long weekend trends for Holi

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Mumbai: Indians are travelling like never before and Thomas Cook (India) Limited – India’s leading omnichannel travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel’s consumer data indicates increased demand for weekend breaks and minications. The upcoming Holi week/weekend offers a unique opportunity of clubbing two consecutive long weekends by taking 3 days off to make the most of a 9-day holiday. The Companies are witnessing a significant surge of nearly 5x for the Holi weekend compared to last year.

Holi Travel Trends:

Spiritual Plus: This Holi, in addition to temple tourism, Indians are travelling to locales connected to the life and times of Lord Krishna – Radha Krishna’s Brij Bhoomi, Huranga – to experience the world renowned Holi celebrations, Nandgaon to witness ‘Lathmar’ – a ritual play of village women, Barsana where Holi revellers throng the Radharani Temple and shower each other with sweets and colour – Ladoo Mar; ceremonies at the revered Banke Bihare temple in Vrindavan

Food enthusiasts get to indulge in local delicacies like the famous mathura ka peda, makhan mishri, ghewar, rabri, hing kachori, jalebi and Holi favourites including thandai, gujiya, malpua, bhang pakora, and more.

Drivecations: uptick of 25% in closer to home/drivable destinations with increased length of stay from 3-4 days to 5-7 day. Travellers in/around Delhi are opting for destinations including Naukuchiatal, Munsiyari, Kangra, Kanatal, Kausani, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar; Bhandardara, Amboli, Sindhudurg, Kolad, Kamshet, Harnai-Anjarle, Saputara, Silvassa, Saputara for customers in Maharashtra & Gujarat; Hampi, Gokarna, Coorg, Puducherry, Kanyakumari for customers in Karnataka/Tamil Nadu

Outdoor Adventure: 30% increase in interest for outdoor and adventure travel with biking trips in Srinagar – Leh – Manali, Manali to Spiti Valley, Jaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer. White water rafting in Rishikesh, Leh-Ladakh, Uttarakhand. Paragliding in Shillong, Gangtok. Camping in Jaisalmer, Kullu, Chopta. Trekking in Sikkim, Coorg, Mcleodganj. Snowboarding in Auli Pahalgam and Sethan. Safari in Pench, Kanha, Corbett, Ranthambore

Surge in Short Haul: visa free access is fuelling demand for destinations like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mauritius and Malaysia with a surge of 30% vs last year; easy visa regimes for Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam-Cambodia, Abu Dhabi-Dubai, Oman. Also, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Direct connectivity seeing brisk business to places like Baku, Amalty, Vietnam with direct connectivity bringing ease and convenience, and propelling impulse purchase

Higher spends: Indians are spending 25% higher this Holi compared to last year

Airfares: 6-10% drop in airfares (compared to Holi last year) for domestic favourites like Srinagar, Chandigarh, Andamans, Bagdogra, Goa and Jaipur from hubs like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi. In the subcontinent, airfares to Kathmandu and Colombo have witnessed a drop of approx. 5% – inspiring an uplift in air travel

Domestic destinations in the spotlight – this Holi, domestic travel is witnessing an uptick enjoying a share of 70% compared to international destinations (30%)

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “With Holi falling on a Monday and Good Friday in the same week, customers are taking 3 days off to avail a week long holiday to explore their favourite locales across India. Our trends indicate that customers are maximising this opportunity to take an extended break – be it a spiritual getaway, an outdoor/adventure trip, self-drives or a tranquil getaway in the hills/beaches. This year, we are witnessing a significant demand uptick of 5x vs last year and increased spends of 25%; more so given the longer duration of two weekends. In addition to celebrating Holi, our segments across Young India, families, and ad-hoc groups of friends are looking to explore destinations within the country; also shirt haul international options.”

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, SOTC Travel said, “The upcoming Holi week combined with the subsequent Easter weekend offers strong potential for a week long vacation, and our data indicates surge from  not only from metros and mini-metros, but also our Regional tier 2 and 3 cities. What is noteworthy is that we are seeing a surge in air-inclusive holidays fuelled by the dip in airfares over the extended week/weekend; drivecations too are seeing a brisk business.”

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