2020 has been a year full of surprises (or shocks) – masks & gloves are a common sight, WFH a lifestyle, and virtual gatherings a part of the routine. However, the most festive time of the year is almost here and India is geared up to celebrate by travelling across the country’s most scenic leisure destinations!
As India gradually unlocks, people across the world are now turning the new normal into a way of life – of course, while ensuring personal safety and hygiene. After staying homebound for months on end, our data sheds light on some really liberating news – This Diwali, travellers are excited to head on inter-state road trips and beach destinations.
According to our Diwali booking trends, Jaipur, Kerala, Goa, Visakhapatnam, and Varanasi top the charts as the most popular leisure destinations among travellers. It also highlights that the pink city of Jaipur is the most popular choice among travellers across North India, with travellers coming in from nearby cities like Delhi NCR and Lucknow. Across South India, travellers from Chennai and Bangalore are heading out on road trips to Kochi in Kerala, the southwest coast of India. Goa, India’s beach capital, on the other hand, is attracting holiday-seekers across the country, with majority bookings from Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
As per our overall travel trends across India, between April 2020 and September 2020, we observed an uptick in bookings across business destinations including Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata. On the other hand, among leisure cities, our booking data highlights that cities like Shimla, Manali, Munnar, Ooty and Gangtok that 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 2020. In Shimla, we saw a whopping 280% month-on-month growth in bookings for September 2020. Additionally, according to our consumer survey, while there is demand for leisure travel across the country, 80% respondents are searching for sanitised stays, and 46% are seeking regulation related information while planning their next travel.
Commenting on this trend, Harshit Vyas, SVP & COO – Franchise Business, OYO India & South Asia, said, “The festive season combined with gradual unlocks has resulted in a surge in leisure travel since September 2020. As states open up their borders to welcome tourists, OYO and the entire hospitality industry, continue to offer safe experiences that lead to rising consumer confidence among travellers. 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 during Diwali and the upcoming holiday season this year. We expect leisure destinations to continue gaining momentum in the coming months with rising consumer optimism for travel. We would also like to express our gratitude towards our asset partners and all employees who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we stand ready to welcome travellers safely once again.”
Sharing his insights on the comeback of leisure travel, 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% of respondents wish to travel for leisure, with approx. 61% 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% of these consumers are also seeking safe stays. Understanding that safety is the consumer’s topmost priority, we at OYO will continue our efforts to ensure safe and hygienic practices with our Contactless Check-ins and Sanitised Before Your Eyes initiatives. 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% levels as compared to Pre-Covid for consumers visiting on the OYO platform and the traffic is at over 50%. As more and more travellers are exploring local hidden gems resulting in a boost in domestic travel, we are keen to support this trend with our robust presence across 28 states and 8 UTs. As we move forward, we are confident that the current trend will continue with month-on-month growth in 2HFY21.”
While you travel, your safety is our priority. To take care of your requirements, we launched two initiatives with none other than our very own asset owner and brand ambassador – Sonu Sood. the first initiative is ‘Sanitised Before Your Eyes’ , an on-request initiative through which you can request our on-ground staff to sanitise high touch spots or frequently touched surfaces right in front of your eyes. The second initiative – ‘Contactless Check-in’ enables you with a faster and safer digital check-in experience, wherever, whenever, thereby eliminating the need for physical contact on arrival.
Wishing you all a Diwali full of lights, bright smiles, and safe travels!