Rajeev Kale – President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook (India) Limited.
With Republic Day falling on a Thursday, taking leave on Friday gives Indians the opportunity of a long/extended weekend break (4 days), and we are seeing a brisk demand uptick of over 25% – primarily from Gen Z, families and couples. Our demand is being led by domestic destinations with Goa, Andamans, Kerala, Rajasthan topping the list, followed by Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand; interestingly – Odisha’s Puri and Bhubaneshwar, Visakhapatnam, Amritsar emerging well on the travel radar. Short haul and easy access/visa destinations like Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Dubai and Abu Dhabi; also Singapore and Malaysia are in demand for this extended weekend.A noteworthy trend is the unique combinations/inclusions being selected by customers – like a spiritual trip to the Golden Temple with a local meal and stay in a farmhouse and food trails; exciting winter experiences and lunch in the midst of an apple orchard in Shimla; biking across rugged terrain with spa-wellness included; also the new cultural & fun getaway of Odisha Konark Eco Retreat, Varanasi Tent City, Jal Mahotsav in addition to the Rann Utsav.
Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel
The upcoming Republic Day offers an attractive extended weekend that is propelling travel desire – our data indicates an upward trajectory in our domestic business; a strong growth of 2.5x vs. pre-pandemic. What is noteworthy is that we are seeing a considerable expansion in the market – with over 25% of our customer base for the season comprising new customers, also young India/millennials.
For the upcoming extended weekend, destinations leading demand are Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Rajasthan, Kerala and Goa; also domestic cruises, biking trips, nature and active holidays are witnessing a surge in demand. Also, our demand trends indicate high interest for closer to home/easy and quick visa destinations like Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, South Korea; also new emerging destinations like Vietnam and Cambodia.
Indiver Rastogi, President & Group Head, Global Business Travel, Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC Travel
We are seeing an increase in travel demand of over 20-25% for the upcoming Republic Day long weekend from families, young professionals/millennials and couples.
Airfares to popular routes from various hubs like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru have witnessed a 20-60% surge during the Republic Day long weekend for destinations like Chandigarh, Srinagar, Dehradun, Kochi, Goa and Port Blair, compared to the first two weeks of January.
Our online searches are witnessing an increase of over 40% for nearby destinations as our customers are showing interest for Manali, McLeod Ganj, Dalhousie, Auli and Shimla in the north; and Ooty, Kodaikanal, Wayanad, Coorg and Munnar in the South.