As India gradually unlocks, more and more people are now ready to step out to explore domestic destinations, and as per OYO's Diwali booking trends, Jaipur, Kerala, Goa, Visakhapatnam and Varanasi are among the top tourist spots.
According to data from global hospitality chain OYO Hotels & Homes, after staying homebound for months, leisure travel is on the rise this Diwali, and Indians are preferring inter-state road trips and beach destinations.
According to OYO's booking trends, Jaipur, Kerala, Goa, Visakhapatnam and Varanasi top the charts as the most popular leisure destinations among travellers.
The data further highlights Jaipur to be the most popular choice among travellers across north India, with an influx of tourists from nearby cities like Delhi-NCR and Lucknow.
Across south India, travellers from Chennai and Bengaluru are heading out on road trips to Kochi in Kerala.
Goa, the country's beach capital, is attracting travellers from across the country, it said.
Majority of bookings are from Pune, followed by Bengaluru and Hyderabad, it added.
The data for booking trends have been taken from OYO platforms, whereas consumer survey insights from the company's internal consumer survey with a sample size of over 2,000 respondents has also been considered.
The Diwali booking timeline is from November 1-7 with a booking for November 14-16, the company said.
"The festive season combined with gradual unlocks has resulted in a surge in leisure travel since September. As per our Diwali booking trends, with social distancing becoming a way of life and people opting for safer travel options, road trips are here to stay, therefore, leading to an increase in inter-state travel this year," Harshit Vyas, SVP and COO - Franchise Business, OYO India and South Asia, said.
Leisure destinations will continue gaining momentum in the coming months with rising consumer optimism for travel, he added.
Yatish Jain, Head of Online Revenue and Marketing, South Asia - OYO Hotels & Homes said, "Rising optimism among travellers across India this holiday season is a welcome change for the tourism and hospitality ecosystem.
"As per our consumer use cases, 57 per cent of respondents wish to travel for leisure, with about 61 per cent respondents stating that they had already decided the destination for their coming vacation."
This is a testament to the steady comeback of travel in the next few months, however, while doing so, 67 per cent of these consumers are also seeking safe stays, he observed.
"To further put things in perspective, as per our Diwali booking trends, we're happy to share that, we're witnessing the intent to book is at almost 100 per cent levels as compared to pre-Covid for consumers visiting on the OYO platform and the traffic is at over 50 per cent," Jain added.
As per OYO's booking data, leisure cities like Shimla, Manali, Munnar, Ooty and Gangtok, which didn't enjoy high demand compared to other tourist hotspots during pre-COVID days, are now increasingly showing positive signs of rising bookings since September.
In Shimla, OYO observed a whopping 280 per cent month-on-month growth in bookings for September, it added.
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