Where is everyone travelling to next?
Since countries have started opening their borders and travel restrictions have been eased, travellers are flocking various travel destinationsThe Bridge Chronicle

Where is everyone travelling to next?

A recent study reveals the changes in travellers behaviour and the most sought after travel destinations.

After over a year of sitting indoors and not being able to travel anywhere, countries have started opening their borders to fully vaccinated travellers. While most of the population is still on their way to getting their jabs, travellers have begun boarding flights and checking into hotels. Commemorating World Tourism Day 2021, OYO released research on global consumer travel and booking trends in its Unlocking Travel Report 2021. The analysis captures top global travel trends and the most sought-after leisure destinations around the world.

According to the analysis, some of the signs of wanderlust around the world — Long weekends, short breaks, local experiences

The data on travel preferences across different geographies reveals that in the UK, there's a high preference for travel over short weekend breaks. Whereas, Americans, choose to explore local destinations and new experiences, followed by solo travel. It is also observed that in the USA, hygiene and cleanliness are a top priority for travellers.

When it comes to Southeast Asia, with lockdowns partly relaxing in Indonesia, there's a jump in SME and essential travel across business cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, among others. In Malaysia, the company has observed a surge in searches for local tourist destinations such as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. As the lockdown continues in Malaysia, the rise in searches indicates people's aspiration to travel once the country opens up for tourists.

In India, Goa, followed by Jaipur and Manali are set to become India's top leisure destinations for the upcoming holiday season. The booking data shows a clear inclination towards hill stations, followed by heritage cities and beach destinations.

Indians love their long weekends!

In India, Goa, Jaipur, followed by the hill stations of Manali, Ooty and Mysore are top-ranked leisure destinations among travellers. According to OYO's consumer survey, 37 per cent of travellers have a preference for mountains, 33 per cent for beaches in India. The remaining 14 per cent prefer visiting motorable places (or road trips), followed by heritage cities and pilgrimages. In India, vaccinated staff and sanitisation protocols at properties are the top two factors that consumers keep in mind before deciding their next travel destination and accommodation.

During the Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi long weekends, it saw a spike in bookings for leisure destinations. Ganesh Chaturthi's travel demand was mainly driven by Jaipur, Pondicherry, Ooty and Mysore. For the upcoming long weekend of Dussehra and Guru Nanak Jayanti, the data reveals that travellers are opting for holidays across India's leisure destinations - with Jaipur topping the list, followed by the beautiful beaches of Goa.

It is also observed that approx. 57 per cent of travellers prefer making bookings closer to the travel day. This is a striking shift from the pre-COVID era when travel was extensively planned and bookings were made weeks or even months in advance.

As per its zone-wise booking data, Goa is the most popular travel hotspot in the west, whereas, the Himalayan hill station of Manali is a favourite in North India. Across South India, the royal city of Mysore tops the charts as the most popular holiday destination. Nestled among the mountains, Darjeeling emerged as North East India's favourite destination for leisure travellers.

India's Top Leisure Destinations

* Goa

* Jaipur

* Manali

* Agra

* Mysore

* Shimla

* Ooty

* Udaipur

* Lonavala

* Pondicherry

Seaside destinations and unique experiences, the British love their holidays

In the UK, the company's booking trends for September reveal that the British are heading to the capital city of London, followed by Bath, a well-being destination, mainly known for its beautiful ancient Roman Baths. The British are also travelling to tourist hotspots such as Blackpool, Scotland and Great Yarmouth. Blackpool and Great Yarmouth are essentially seaside resort towns, whereas Scotland is famous for its scenic highlands and mountains. As per booking trends in the UK, Christmas, New Year, Black Friday, and Boxing Day are the most sought-after long weekends for travel for the British.

UK's Top Leisure Destinations

* London

* Bath

* Blackpool

* Scotland

* Great Yarmouth

City skylines and sandy beaches, a perfect American holiday

In the USA, big cities and coastlines dominate travel preferences. As travel opens up across the country, Americans are heading to New York, Hawaii (3 islands), Las Vegas, Orlando and Key West. This list indicates that American travellers have a strong preference for lively nightlife, amusement parks, entertainment hotspots and beaches. Based on its booking data between October and December 2021, Americans are looking forward to travelling on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve long weekends.

America's Top Leisure Destinations

* New York

* Hawaii

* Las Vegas

* Orlando

* Key West

Spontaneous travel plans, summer and more - here's how Europeans travel

As per its booking data between August - September 2021, Europe saw strong signs of travel bounce back led by Summer travel demand. Across Europe, the Baltic Sea Region in Germany, a popular vacation spot (also referred to as the German Riviera) was the most booked destination over the summer season. This was followed by the sandy beach town of Blavand in Denmark, North Holland in the Netherlands, Luxembourg in Belgium and Salzburg, Austria.

The basis on its advanced booking data between October - December 2021, Europeans are planning their travel around the upcoming autumn break in October and the Christmas week. The data highlights that in the Christmas week of 25th December, Salzburg and Tyrol in Austria are the most booked destinations. With the autumn break just around the corner, Europeans are heading to Blavand and North Holland. While some users have planned their travel with bookings, over the past month, OYO has observed that a majority of bookings are last-minute (bookings within 15 days of arrival) across Europe, indicating the shift in consumer mindset, wherein consumers plan their travel closer to the date, largely depending on the factors surrounding the pandemic.

Europe's Top Leisure Destinations

* Baltic Sea Region, Germany

* Blavand, Denmark

* North-Holland, the Netherlands

* Luxembourg, Belgium

* Salzburg, Austria

(With inputs from IANS)

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