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.