Air travel taking a backseat, combined with the opening up of many state borders to welcome tourists once again has led to the rise in demand for domestic leisure destinations, as a getaway from city life. Keeping in mind this sentiment, alongside the Ministry of Tourism’s initiative to create awareness and encourage Indians to explore the country’s less-known destinations through Dekho Apna Desh, OYO Hotels & Homes, the world’s largest hospitality chain predicts ‘India’s Next Destinations’, a data-backed predictive analysis that brings to light the country’s upcoming leisure destinations for travellers.
Here are the top destinations set to power the country’s tourism industry back on track.
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The next tourist hotspots: According to OYO’s forecast, Jaipur, followed by Goa and Kochi are set to become India’s top leisure destinations in October, November and December 2020
What’s hot for the coming long weekend: With the 02nd October long weekend on the horizon, the report reveals that travellers are opting for staycations across India’s beach destinations – with Goa topping the list, followed by the seaside resort town of Digha in West Bengal. Travellers are also opting for Jaipur, Pondicherry, Agra, Tirupati, among others.
Rise in pilgrimages: Interestingly, the report reveals that Indians will turn to faith during these tough times. The trend forecasts an upswing in demand for the alluring, holy cities of India, including Varanasi, Shirdi and Haridwar.
Road trips are here to stay: The data predicts that most leisure destinations to rule the roost in the latter half of the year are within a driving distance from mainstream cities, such as Jaipur and Udaipur for Delhiites, Goa and Shirdi for Mumbaikars, Mysore for Bangaloreans, among others.
Given the reality around COVID-19, leisure travel took a backseat to business or essential travel in the past couple of months, leaving little room for recovery of predominantly tourist destinations. However, on the brighter side, with each unlocking phase and the reopening of states, there’s a positive upswing for consumers aspiring to travel in the next three months. As per OYO’s consumer use cases, 56% of consumers will be travelling for leisure while 43% would travel for business. When asked about their next travel destination, most respondents opted for Kerala, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan. Amongst these, 45% of leisure travellers would prefer hill stations like Shimla, Mussoorie while the remaining 55% of leisure travelers would prefer non-hill station destinations like Goa, Agra, and Jaipur.
The data further highlights that 56% of consumers would travel via private vehicles to nearby locations, with family or friends, preferably between the duration of 1-3 days.
Commenting on the developments, Rohit Kapoor, CEO, India & South Asia, OYO said, “My family and I recently drove to Jaipur for the weekend. We wore our masks, carried our sanitisers, got tested, and hit the roads. It was a truly refreshing and much-needed break from our daily routines. Like us, there are many who are facing fatigue from unending work from home and chores. Many who need a vacation. This is why we’re seeing positive signs of travel coming back. After spending months under lockdown and restrictions easing across the country, consumers are looking forward to stepping out and exploring new destinations, closer to home, and of course with utmost precautions. While intentions to travel are strengthening, our teams at OYO are working round the clock to also strengthen our offerings, and our value to the consumer.”
He added, “For instance, to ensure we come up with the most useful solutions for travellers, our senior leaders have personally spoken with nearly 2000+ consumers to understand their aspirations and worries, their concerns, and requirements. Through these conversations, we understood that leisure travel is on the rise but consumers are still cautious about sanitisation and regulations, and therefore, we launched Sanitised Stays to increase our standard of hygiene at OYO properties. To make the planning process easier for consumers, we also introduced Travel Assistance on our app to help with COVID-19 testing and state-wise guidelines, therefore, becoming a part of our guests’ journey right from the very beginning.”
With the country’s intent to travel strengthening, OYO’s consumer use cases showcase that approximately 80% of consumers planning to travel are searching for sanitised stays, while 46% seek regulation-related information during their decision-making process. Keeping this in mind, OYO has launched a one-stop solution for all travel-related assistance on the OYO app in India, including COVID-19 testing with leading ICMR approved pathology labs, visibility to state-wise guidelines, among others. This includes partnerships with Dr. Lal Path Labs, SRL Diagnostics, 1mg, and Indus Health Plus.