As the Republic Day weekend approaches, Indian travelers are gearing up for domestic getaways, and leading digital travel platforms, Agoda and Booking.com, unveil the top destinations capturing the nation’s wanderlust.
Goa Tops the List: For the second consecutive year, Goa claims the spotlight as the most searched destination for the Republic Day weekend. Known for its vibrant nightlife and scenic beauty, Goa continues to be a perennial favourite.
Coastal Charms: Puducherry secures the second spot, offering a unique blend of French and Indian cultures, mesmerizing architecture, and stunning beaches. Jaipur, the pink city, claims the third position, captivating travellers with its rich heritage and diverse experiences.
Hill Stations Beckon: Ooty and Mahabaleshwar, showcasing scenic beauty secure spots in the top five, revealing a preference for tranquil hill stations.
Cultural and Culinary Delights: Jaipur stands out for its rich heritage, culinary delights, and shopping experiences, catering to varied traveller preferences.
Krishna Rathi, Country Director India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives at Agoda, notes the consistent interest in diverse destinations. He anticipates continued excitement for both domestic and international trips, emphasizing Agoda’s commitment to providing great deals and a seamless travel experience.
Booking.com’s insights reveals that Indian travellers have diverse preferences when it comes to planning their weekend getaways. They are interested in both beach retreats and leisure hotspots, with popular beach destinations being Puducherry, Goa, and Alibaug. Meanwhile, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mahabaleshwar, Ooty, and Lonavala have emerged as favored leisure hotspots within convenient proximity to major cities.
Moreover, Indians are not just limiting their searches to domestic destinations. They are also exploring international hotspots such as Dubai, Singapore, and Bangkok, which are closer to home and are piquing traveller interest.
In addition to hotels and resorts, alternative accommodations such as homestays, guest houses, apartments, and villas are also becoming popular choices among Indian travellers. This reflects a shift in preferences for short breaks and unique experiences.
Finally, the demand for weekend getaways is observed from couples, followed by groups and families, highlighting a diverse range of travellers looking to make the most of their long weekends.
Santosh Kumar, Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia at Booking.com, emphasises the significant opportunity this long weekend presents for the travel and hospitality industry. He notes the rising demand for alternative accommodations and commits to enhancing the traveller experience.
Talking about demand for luxury villas, Devendra Parulekar, Founder of SaffronStays said they have noted considerable interest in premium markets like Alibaug, Pawna, Udaipur, Karjat showing 50 per cent plus growth, with a distinct preference for luxury villas over budget friendly ones.
“This trend is in line with increased spending capacities across the Indian aspirational consumer segment. The opening up of highways and expressways (e.g. Atal Setu) along with increased rollouts of Vande Bharat trains has made weekend travel even more attractive as an option. Winters were delayed and hence impacted demand. The demand will pick up for winter destinations, as weather gets better and winter sets in! We expect a much much better February and March than last year. March has a long weekend, unexpectedly a really long weekend. I also see really high rates and sold out situations in most popular leisure properties in some cities,” he said.
Short haul outbound destinations like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Malaysia are witnessing demand for this extended weekend.
“A noteworthy trend is the unique combinations/inclusions being selected by customers – 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 spa-wellness. We are witnessing demand for non-standard travel experiences and unconventional options like stays in machans/tree houses overlooking lush green tropical vegetation of Wayanad, Chikmagalur, Munnar, Thekkady; restored heritage fort in Goa, private villas with concierge services and a chef in Alibaug or plantation bungalows amidst rolling tea/coffee estates in Darjeeling, Assam or Coorg,” Rajeev Kale – President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook India said.
As the Republic Day long weekend unfolds, Indians are choosing destinations that offer a mix of cultural, culinary, and local experiences, showcasing a diverse and evolving travel landscape. Whether it’s the coastal charm of Puducherry, the vibrant nightlife of Goa, or the rich heritage of Jaipur, travellers are in for an exciting escape during this extended holiday.