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As international travel gradually returns to normal, online travel firm Booking.com said it is still seeing long-stay travellers as a global trend. Across the world in 2021, 25% of all rooms booked on its platform were for stays of seven nights or more, the global e-commerce travel company said.

Fast forward to 2022 and the company is still seeing stays of three-seven days making up over half (54%) of searches for the summer months, and stays of eight plus days accounting for almost 20% of summer searches. As a result, the company has launched monthly and weekly tariffs on its platform.

“The hybrid working model is here to stay and people realise that it’s a good idea for them to work from any different location," said Ritu Mehrotra, the company’s APAC, China and Oceania commercial director.

In India, travel is looking buoyant for the summer season, she said. Big cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata continue to be the most booked destinations on its platform. This is followed by hill stations and beaches amid the summer heat.

Goa, Ooty, Manali, Rish-ikesh, Srinagar, Darjeeling, McL-eod Ganj and Gangtok are some of the preferred destinations by Indian travellers this summer. “India right now is doing a little better than in 2019. We continue to see leisure travel peaking. Bookings for the summer period are now more than 15% higher than what they were in 2019," she said. Indian travellers are showing rising confidence in international travel, too, especially summer getaways. The most popular international destinations for May-June are the UK, France, US, Switzerland, Thailand, Canada and Italy, added Mehrotra.

Meanwhile, India’s travel market is expected to bounce back and cross $125 billion by 2026-27, said a report, Travel market in India by RedCore, research firm RedSeer’s arm. It said the travel business pre-pandemic was $75 billion in FY19-20. This will expand beyond $125 billion by FY2026-27, taking into account both domestic travel, inbound and outbound travel by Indians. People are also searching for more sustainable travel options after the pandemic. Mehrotra said 91% of Indian travellers want to travel more sustainably in the next one year and 80% had stayed in a sustainable accommodation.

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