Most years, summer is one of the highest travel seasons in India and traveller sentiment tapers off as the monsoons arrive, owing to the reopening of schools, traffic and driving conditions due to rain, among other factors. However, post-pandemic, travel trends have shifted — travellers are now looking to make up for lost vacations. As per global hospitality technology company, OYO’s Monsoon Travel Report 2022, Indian travellers expressed high travel intent for intercity road trips, especially ones surrounded by nature, with a majority of respondents opting for hotel rooms with mountain & lake views. This indicates the rise in monsoon tourism across the country with a strong consumer preference to spend holidays closer to nature.
As per the hospitality technology platform’s domestic travel study, Indians have a mixed bag of preferred destinations for monsoon. Among preference for the state, with nearly 18% of respondents opting for Uttarakhand, the famous pilgrimage & leisure destination becomes the top monsoon destination of choice, followed by Goa, Kerala, and Maharashtra. Interestingly, among cities, the hill destinations of Ooty (20%), Lonavala (16%), Munnar (11%), Shillong (11%) and Coorg (8%) raked in maximum consumer intent for travel.
While short trips are usually popular during the monsoon season, with 54% saying they would take a trip between 1-3 days, a significantly high 33% also expressed interest to head out for a week-long monsoon trip. The trend to head out on longer vacations can be attributed to flexible remote and hybrid work policies popularised by corporate India during the pandemic. Approx. 84% of consumers prefer booking their travel and staying closer to the date.
As experiential travel becomes one of the top trends in the travel and tourism economy, consumers are looking at serene locations to spend quality time with family and friends. As per the survey insights, a majority of consumers (40%)were inclined towards booking hotels with a view, followed by unique stays such as tree houses and cottages in the woods, stays surrounded by scenic lush hills and/or by the beach. This indicates consumer desire for “ecotherapy”, a rising trend among today’s evolved travellers since the pandemic restricted travellers within the periphery of their residence due to lockdowns.
When it comes to go-to travel essentials for monsoon trips, an astounding 48% of respondents picked earphones as their top choice, while raincoats were a far second with nearly 30% votes, followed by umbrellas, zip-lock bags for electronic devices, warm shawls, sunglasses, books and mosquito repellents.
Sheeran Godbole, SVP – Product & Chief Service Officer – OYO said,“In 2022, we’re seeing a shift in traveller mindset to pre-lockdown times. We’re observing more and more consumer demand to travel throughout the year, for shorter trips. This monsoon, as per our findings, consumers are looking forward to travelling to scenic destinations and making the most of the rains, closer to nature. As a majority of travellers looking to book their stays closer to the date, our app-level features such as ‘Pay at Hotel’, easy cancellation and refund policies, 3-click booking process, and Nearby stays enable travellers to make their travel choice on the go without any hassle.”
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