Chennai: Neither the crisis in the aviation sector nor the recent blasts in Sri Lanka have dampened the spirits of the summer travel. Both international and domestic travel has witnessed double-digit growth this summer.
“Tourism is back on track with 22 per cent growth in demand for overseas holidays and 20 per cent growth in domestic vacations, overcoming the temporary setbacks such as Jet Airways crisis and Sri Lankan terror attacks. This is mainly because the discerning tourists wish to stick to the tourist season to ensure they don’t miss on any essentials and the current period is a peak time for Indian tourists for certain destinations,” said Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings.
Thomas Cook, too, has observed a strong surge of 22 per cent in bookings. “Bookings for international destinations outpaced last year’s demand by 30 per cent. Europe has seen 26 per cent growth and some of the top destinations are Italy, Spain, UK, Greece, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Russia and Ireland,” said Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head–Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook India.
Families opting for ‘bucket list travel’ to exotic and brag-worthy destinations like Iceland, Finland and Antarctica saw a spike in demand by over 30 per cent.
“Short haul destinations with no-visa or easy visa processes are also witnessing a strong uptake this summer with an increase of over 25 per cent,” he said.
These short haul destinations include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Bali, Malaysia, Mauritius, Maldives, Thailand and Sri Lanka. India sub-continent destinations like Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Andamans, Kerala, Coorg, Kodaikanal, Pondicherry are in-demand vacation hot spots, too.
Even while making a last-minute destination replacement due to the Sri Lanka tragedy, most Indians preferred not to deviate much from the accounted budget. Bhutan, Thailand and Northeast all fall in similar price buckets as Sri Lanka. Some travellers also preferred Kerala and Andamans as a replacement to Sri Lanka, said Anand.
As per the World Travel and Tourism Council data, tourism generated Rs 16.91 lakh crore in 2018 and summer accounts for a significant portion of this.