In the Month of Independence, Indians Take the Freedom to Travel Hotels, travel portals report 50% jump in bookings in Aug, as new-age travellers rush to make most of several long weekends; Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala favourite destinations
New Delhi: Travel portals, hotels and tour operators are gearing up this August for what looks like an exciting travel month with several long weekends coming up around Rakhi, Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmashtami.
Travel portals are expecting an average 50% jump in bookings this month with people looking for quick weekend getaways by clubbing their leaves with off days.
Flight Shop, the flagship retail leisure business of Australiaheadquartered Flight Centre Travel Group (FCM), has seen a 52% jump in overall bookings this August for airlines, hotel and tour package reservations, compared with last year.
“A 9-day holiday from August 12 to 20 this year gives a perfect opportunity to the new-age traveller to take advantage of the mid-year break. Bookings to perennial favourites such as Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala, Ladakh, Delhi and Coorg continue to increase,” said Shravan Gupta, executive director, leisure business, FCM Travel Solutions.
Travel portal Cleartrip is seeing a 45% jump in air bookings for Independance Day, from other weekends this year, with Goa being the most sought after destination. This is despite air fares being 38% higher. Among the metros, Hyderabad registered the maximum — 78% — jump in bookings over other weekends. “67% of the bookings made so far were locked more than a month in advance. This is 17% higher than the advance bookings done for other weekends this year. Despite this being an off season, Goa has registered the highest number of air bookings,” said Balu Ramachandran, head of air and dis-
tribution at Cleartrip. Ritesh Agarwal, founder of OYO Rooms, said that quarter ending September will easily surpass the $100 million gross bookings mark achieved by OYO in the previous quarter with significant bookings coming in for August. Kapil Goswamy, CMD of Big Breaks, said the travel industry is in the middle of a flurry of bookings as the weekends approach. “Since the last Eid long weekend, there has not been such an upsurge of interest in hotel and holiday bookings. Clients have even booked holidays to Austria, France, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia,” he said. Though a bulk of Carlson Rezidor’s portfolio comprises business hotels, the hotel chain which has brands such as Radisson, Radisson Blu and Country Inn & Suites is expecting over 80% occupancies in its leisure destination hotels like Udaipur, Jai- pur and Shimla.
“We also expect increased occupancies in religious destinations like Katra in Jammu owing to the long weekend,” said Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia at Carlson Rezidor.
Jessica Chuang, regional marketing director at Hotels.com for greater China, South East Asia and India, said Hotels.com has seen a spike in searches by Indians for quick getaways coinciding with the long weekends.
“Most of the enquiries are from working professionals including co-founders of startups, vicepresidents and department heads. Travel enthusiasts from cities like Delhi and Mumbai are heading to neighbouring destinations like Manali, Kasol, Mcleodganj, Lonavala, Gokarna and Alibag,” said Mukesh Thapa, business strategist at TravelTriangle.