Holidays spark surge in travel bookings2 min read . Updated: 15 Dec 2020, 09:16 AM IST
- Apart from Goa, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Pondicherry, Coorg, Shimla, Manali, and Darjeeling continue to be top destinations for the winter holiday season
NEW DELHI: As 2020 draws to a close, travel firms are witnessing 25-30% increase in bookings -- both for air travel and accommodations -- for holidays during the Christmas and New Year. Destinations close to dwelling city is top priority but travellers have started booking for domestic as well as international destinations which require air travel, albeit short haul.
To boost travellers' confidence, MakeMyTrip has partnered AirAsia India and Indian Hotels Company Ltd, that runs the Taj group of hotels, to launch its special bubble holiday to Goa for Christmas. The curated package includes prior covid-testing, sanitized cabs for transfers, charter flights with middle row vacant and luxury stays at Taj properties.
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MakeMyTrip said it will lease out a part of the property at Cidade De Goa for the duration of the holiday to minimise outside interaction for the bubble holiday travellers.
Apart from Goa, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Pondicherry, Coorg, Shimla, Manali, and Darjeeling continue to be top destinations for the winter holiday season.
"There’s 25% month-on-month growth in flight bookings to domestic leisure destinations and we hope to see this traction growing during the Christmas and New Year period. In the outbound travel segment, Dubai and Maldives continue to remain the most searched short-haul leisure destinations and as trends indicate these destinations will continue to rank high on the consideration set of travellers in the coming weeks as well," said Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer at MakeMyTrip.
Booking.com said it is offering last minute and early booking deals while also extending Flexible-1 Day policy to offer travellers the option to change their plans given the continuously evolving travel policies of states due to covid.
"As travel intent continues to evolve in India around Christmas and New Years, we are constantly innovating to make it easier for our customers to find what they’re looking for. We have simplified our search experience with filters to make it easy for customers looking for the types of accommodations they are seeking," said Ritu Mehrotra, country manager – India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com.
Thomas Cook India, an integrated travel services company and its group company, SOTC Travel Ltd., conducted a 72–hour holiday flash sale from 5 to 7 December with domestic travel accounting for 65% share of the overall bookings during the sale.
"Given positive consumer sentiment due to the vaccine announcements and customers keen to utilise their balance leave, our daily sales average grew by over 200%, with bookings not just for domestic destinations but also for newly re-opened options like Egypt. Over 75% of our flash sale bookings are for our flight-inclusive packages - indicative of growing customer confidence in air travel and to longer haul destinations like Kashmir and the Andaman," said Rajeev Kale, president and country head – holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.
SOTC has introduced 'Crazy Deals' in partnership with IndiGo Airlines for holiday season for both domestic--Kerala, North East and Andaman, among others--and international short haul destinations such as Dubai and Maldives. The travel firm has partnered with Marriott International and Accor to offer holiday packages that reassures customers with comprehensive health and safety protocols incorporated.
"We are offering customer benefits through flexible booking options along with health & safety under the company’s Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, exclusive Doctor on Call service (24x7) in association with Apollo Clinics, overseas Medical Insurance cover which includes covid-19 related hospitalisation. With all these benefits offered to customers, we have witnessed bookings without any cancellations," said Daniel D’souza, president & country head, leisure, SOTC Travel.