Rajeev D Kale, President & Country Head – Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India) shares with TTJ his thoughts on the new trend of monsoon travel which is catching up with the Indians. He also highlights some new emerging domestic and international monsoon getaways.
According to Rajeev “Monsoons are typically considered to be a lean travel period for families’ courtesy commencement of schools, etc. However, we have seen that monsoons have had scant impact on the travel hungry Indian consumers wanting to avail packages at great rates where they save approximately 15-20 per cent more on accommodation and food and over 30-45 per cent on airfare compared to peak season rates. This trend is especially high with budget travellers at both ends of the spectrum Gen Y as well as Gen S equally so for solo travellers and ad-hoc group of friends. Hotels provide flexibility in terms of available inventory and complimentary upgrades of rooms.”
Furthermore, with the development of new tourist circuits and improved rail and road connectivity to tier II and III cities, Rajeev tells, “Travellers are increasingly opting for domestic short haul locations for quick getaways. Off road and self-drive opportunities are increasing as Indians are becoming confident and experiential and keen to explore India at their pace. Fresh new entrants emerging on the radar for monsoon getaways are Bekal and Hampi. While monsoon has traditionally been a neat domestic opportunity, due to the allure of low season pricing, we are delighted to see increasing demand for international getaways from our travel hungry Indian consumers- undoubtedly short haul favourites such as Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Dubai, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia continue to top the trending lists.”
While monsoons showcases nature at its resplendent best, Rajeev feels that together with budget pricing, destinations such as Goa, Kerala and hilly destinations in Karnataka, such as Ooty, Coorg, Kemmanagundi and Agumbe have emerged as favourites. The timeless beauty of the palm fringed beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, the majesty of the undulating hills of Munnar and Vagamon, the pristine backwaters of Kumarakom and Kuttanad and the enchanting woods and forests of Thekkady and Silent Valley are captured in their monsoon packages. Also, this monsoon, besides the usual spots such as Goa, Gen Y is keen on exploring new places like Auroville in Pondicherry and the wine valleys of Nashik. Travelers especially from in and around Delhi are also considering short and drivable holidays to Manali, Dharamshala, Mclodganj and Mussoorie. Ladakh is an eternal favourite this season. In Maharashtra –Harishchandrachigadh, Rajmachi, Lohagad, etc, are new favourites along with Mumbai.