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Europe tops the list of summer travel destinations

Thomas Cook has also witnessed a 4x surge in demand for long haul and 3x for short haul and domestic destinations compared to the previous year.

In spite of visa restrictions, Indians’ love for Europe has not dimmed, with a large number making a beeline for European destinations such as France, Italy and Spain this summer. “Europe continues to top our demand pipeline with a surge of over 300 per cent for the upcoming summer holidays,” says Rajeev Kale – President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook (India) Limited.

Thomas Cook has also witnessed a 4x surge in demand for long haul and 3x for short haul and domestic destinations compared to the previous year. “We have seen an upward trend from multi-generational families, young professionals/millennials, couples and ad hoc group of friends travelling together to celebrate special occasions and holidays,” says Kale.

Besides Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia are witnessing brisk business. “What is noteworthy is the big growth in travel to Japan and South Korea for the cherry blossom season.

Baku and Almaty with convenient access and easy visas are popular new emerging destinations,” says Kale.

Besides international travel, Indians are also travelling more within the country this summer. As per KAYAK, a leading global travel search engine, domestic flight searches have increased by about 208 per cent, compared to 2022.

KAYAK’s search data shows an uptick in family and group travel for the summer season. Family flight searches have increased by about 230 per cent compared to 2022, with 81 per cent of those planning a trip this summer saying they’ll go with their families. One-third of those planning to travel this summer are leaning towards destinations they have already visited in the past, including their ancestral places. Interestingly, novelty is still important to them, with about half intending to make new memories in these previously-visited destinations while only 39 per cent would relive past experiences.

“Demand for domestic and short-haul destinations for summer is at par with pre-pandemic levels and witnessing a growth of approximately 50-60 per cent month-on-month,” says Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel.

Popular destinations include Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Leh-Ladakh, North East, Andamans followed by Goa and Kerala. “We are witnessing high demand not only from India’s metros, but also mini metros, tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Our data trends indicate high interest for experiential holidays, short getaways, domestic cruises and spiritual travel,” says D’Souza.

Thanks to increased demand, hotel prices are also increasing. “As the travel industry experiences a surge in demand, the hotel industry also falls along. Prices have increased by approximately 20 per cent at popular international destinations, and there has been a similar increase of around 15-20 per cent in hotel prices for domestic destinations.

An indicator of this surge in demand is the hospitality industry’s infrastructural push where we are looking at approximately 7,163 new keys to be added in 2023,” says Nishant Pitti, CEO and Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip.

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