Popularity of long weekends growing among Indians: Experts

There has been a surge in bookings for long weekends and short haul overseas destinations are the most in demand, according to industry players.

Published: 15th August 2017 06:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2017 06:51 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. (File photo | AP)

By PTI

MUMBAI: With more and more Indians wanting to take short breaks, there has been a surge in bookings for long weekends and short haul overseas destinations are the most in demand, according to industry players.

There has been a whopping 52 per cent uptake in overall bookings compared to last year in airlines, hotel and tour package reservations, FCM Travel Solutions (Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia) Executive Director, Leisure Businesses Shravan Gupta told PTI here. He said popular short-haul destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand have witnessed a growth of 41 per cent from last year.

Domestic bookings to perennial favourites like Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala, Ladakh, Coorg and Delhi continued to increase, he added.

Echoing a similar view, ixigo.com CEO and co-founder Aloke Bajpai said, "Owing to the two consecutive long weekends, the onset of August brought along quite a surge in travel bookings. In comparison to the last few weekends, we saw about a 40-45 per cent increase in bookings for the Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day long weekends."

Not just this, an increase in travel bookings has also led to an increase in travellers opting for unconventional and upcoming forms of travel, he said.

"From eco-tourism and stay-cations to experiential stays and backpacking, a host of new travel genres are now gaining popularity. Travel 'stay-cations' alone have at an average increased by 21 per cent in comparison to the last few weekends," he added.

Hotels.com Director, Regional Marketing Greater China, SEA and India, Jessica Chuang said long weekend travel is a fast-growing trend in India which is especially popular amongst time-starved young working professionals and millennials.

"We have also seen a spike in searches by Indians for quick getaways over the duration coinciding with long weekends. Indian cities like Goa and Udaipur as well as short-haul destinations like Bali (Indonesia), Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya (Thailand) and Dubai are extremely popular," she added.

As per Yatra's data, budget hotels continue to be the most popular category of accommodation for the upcoming weekends. There has been last minute dash for bookings compared to last year as 43 per cent of the bookings happened in the last two days, it added.

"The trend of taking frequent breaks on long weekends has been growing over the past few years as people are looking for a quick, short respite from their monotonous urban lives. The upcoming long weekend has seen a huge surge in hotel bookings at destinations close to the metros, with a number of these being sold out already. We have also seen a tremendous pick up in holiday packages from all major cities," said Yatra.com COO (B2C) Sharat Dhall.

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