With a bank of accrued vacation days and restrictions finally starting to ease in India and other parts of the world, it's no wonder travellers are looking to escape their lockdown surroundings. Travellers are looking for an escape from their normal lives and others are looking forward to some time away with family and friends after being apart for so long.
Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travellers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, today shared a list of the top searched domestic and international destinations on Booking.com by Indian travellers in the month of August 2021.
Indicating an intent to travel, the USA, Russia and Maldives are among the top 3 most searched international destinations for August 2021 as Indians hope for ease in international travel restrictions. Closer to home, in addition to metro cities, travellers are looking forward to enjoying nature and escaping to the outdoors -- searching for leisurely destinations like Lonavala and Leh which are amongst the topmost searched domestic destinations by Indian travellers in August 2021.
Decoding destination preferences by Indian travellers for international travel:
With hopes for ease in international travel restrictions, especially for fully vaccinated travellers, Indians have shown interest in travelling to international destinations. For travellers who are open to flying and cross borders again, the USA, Russia, Maldives, Switzerland and Qatar are amongst the top 5 most searched destinations by Indian outbound travellers.
Top searched international destinations by Indian travellers in the month of August 2021:
Domestic travel preferences by Indian travellers
Domestic travel continues to remain prevalent with many Indian travellers looking forward to exploring their own country and choosing destinations closer to home. Booking.com data backs this, with earlier research revealing 52 per cent of Indian travellers are looking forward to exploring their home country this year. Metro cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru continue to be the top searched destinations for August 2021. Closer-to-home and leisurely destinations such as Lonavala, Jaipur and Leh are also some of the top searched destinations in August 2021 by Indian travellers.
Top searched domestic destinations by Indian travellers in the month of August 2021:
* New Delhi
While hotels continue to be the top searched accommodation by Indian travellers travelling domestically, travellers are also looking to stay in alternative accommodations like guest houses, villas and apartments considering the renewed emphasis on privacy, sufficient space and personal control over cleanliness and hygiene.
Top 5 accommodation types searched by Indian travellers travelling within India in the month of August 2021:
* Guest House
Health and safety continues to be a key traveller priority
Cleanliness continues to be on top of the mind for travellers with more guests searching for transparency around cleaning measures at the property. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Booking.com has witnessed a dramatic uptick in the use of specific words used by guests when they ask questions about a property. For example, the use of the words "clean" and "hygiene" have both increased by over 60 per cent. In addition to cleanliness, Booking.com has witnessed an increase in travellers booking stays with flexible cancellation policies due to the uncertain environment.
To provide travellers with transparency in health and hygiene at an accommodation, Booking.com introduced the health and safety measures feature on its platform last year that allows accommodation partners to select the different health and safety measures they are taking in areas such as hygiene, sanitization, social distancing and food safety among others. Booking.com offers a Flexible-1 Day policy allowing travellers to cancel for free up till one day before check-in as well as a one-date change to travellers who book a non-refundable rate.
Commenting on the Indian travel sentiment, Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager, South Asia at Booking.com,
said, "With more and more Indians getting vaccinated and travel restrictions being lifted in phases, we are starting to see pent-up demand for travel. Travel trends that emerged during the pandemic such as closer-to-home destinations, staycations and road trips still remain popular, but at the same time, we are also seeing travel intent gradually resume for international travel. And as a leader in travel, Booking.com will continue to make it easier for people to experience the world in a safe manner -- we will be there for our customers offering the widest accommodation choice at great value so travellers can enjoy all of the unforgettable experiences this world has to offer when the time is right and it is safe to do so."
(The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the most searched domestic and international destinations and accommodation types by Indian travellers in August 2021.)
(Destinations stated are as per current top searches and are subject to change as the travel environment changes)