Summer Travel Up 40 Per Cent This Year; Hospitality, Travel Service Providers See Increased Demand

This summer, beach destinations remain the top choice for travellers, rivalling hill stations for the ultimate holiday experience
Goa is among the most favoured holiday destinations this summer
Goa is among the most favoured holiday destinations this summer Lichtwolke/Shutterstock

As the Indian summer heat intensifies, there has been a remarkable 40 per cent increase in summer travel this year. Hospitality and travel service providers have observed a surge in demand, making it the perfect time to plan your getaway. Despite the ongoing general elections impacting corporate and MICE business, hotels are thriving with increased retail demand. Beach destinations remain a top choice, contending with hill stations for the ultimate holiday experience.

"Those in the northern part of the country head to the hills to escape the heat. There is also movement from the cities to nearby tourist or leisure destinations. Industry sources estimate a 30 to 40 per cent increase in the summer travel this year as compared to last year," Hotel Association of India, President and Radisson Hotel Group Chairman-South Asia, KB Kachru told PTI.

"Summer is always one of the biggest quarters of the year in terms of travel intent, and this year too, the buoyancy in the sector continues," said MakeMyTrip Co-Founder & Group CEO Rajesh Magow. "We are observing a healthy growth in searches over those recorded last year at this time."

Summertime Plans

MakeMyTrip reports that the family travel segment has grown by 20 per cent this year compared to the summer of 2023, while solo travel grew by 10 per cent over last year's numbers. In terms of the most booked holiday packages this summer, destinations with cool mountain terrains are the top picks. Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Goa, Kerala, and the North East are emerging as the most sought-after places.

The majestic Kailash Himalaya range from Kalpa in Himachal Pradesh
The majestic Kailash Himalaya range from Kalpa in Himachal Pradeshourist couple enjoy view of the majestic Kailash Himalaya range from Kalpa Himachal Pradesh, India/Shutterstock

Interestingly, Kachru said, "Air travel has seen immense growth because of the campaign of the Election Commission to celebrate the festival of democracy and a large number of citizens are travelling to cast their precious vote in their home towns."

"While elections might have a minor impact on corporate and MICE business, retail business has increased by 20 per cent compared to the same time last year at the group level," Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd Chairman and Managing Director, Chander K Baljee said. The major locations benefiting from increased occupancy are hill hotels, resorts, and other leisure destinations, he added. "Mashobra's (in Himachal Pradesh) retail business has increased almost five-fold with slight price rationalisation, and Mussoorie's retail occupancy has doubled. Goa witnessed a 50 per cent increase in retail occupancy compared to last year."

Sun And Surf

OYO, a hospitality and travel-tech firm, has reported that based on its bookings for May and June 2024, beach destinations are preferred by travellers compared to mountains this summer. The most popular beach destination is Goa, followed by Varkala, Pondicherry, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. "Beaches account for 53 per cent of the total leisure bookings, demonstrating a strong inclination towards coastal vacations even during the hot summer months. On the other hand, mountain destinations, which make up 47 per cent of the bookings, are also drawing considerable interest, particularly as we move into June," a spokesperson of OYO said.

The Hills Are Calling

However, the spokesperson said, "The early trends for June indicate that mountains will take over beaches. Among these, Nainital tops the list, followed by Rishikesh, Manali, Mussoorie, and Darjeeling. This indicates a growing trend of travellers seeking the serene and cool environment of the mountains as the summer progresses."

With inputs from PTI reports.

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