MUMBAI, August 22, 2022: As India’s major religious holidays begin in late August and September, Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel data are monitoring an increase in holiday bookings.
Holidays related to Hindu festivals of up to 10 days, such as Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri/Durga Puja-Dusshera, followed by Diwali (October and November) are driving holiday bookings. Additionally, schools are closed for their mid-term holidays, further driving demand for family travel.
Daniel D’Souza, President of SOTC Travel and National Head of Holidays, said: “The festive season in India provides the perfect opportunity to travel, especially for families whose schools are closing for their half-term holidays and professionals who take time off and return to their hometowns to celebrate with their families.
To capitalize on the high demand during this peak holiday season, Thomas Cook (India) Limited and its group company, SOTC Travel, have launched a wide range of holidays across international and domestic destinations – with a range of specials and offers.
Online destinations to benefit from it
Peak demand destinations include short haul/easy visa destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Maldives, Mauritius ; also Nepal and Bhutan in the Indian subcontinent.
The most preferred long and medium-haul destinations are the United States (for customers with visas), Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Europe and the UK. National favorites include Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Goa.
Key segments driving demand for the holiday season include:
• Multi-generational families/couples: 78% seek quality time to spend time together
• Professional migrant worker segment in India: 66% keen to return home and celebrate with family
• Millennials: 71% are open to a mini-vacation with their group of friends or a solo break
Indians are value seekers par excellence, and so to speed up bookings, companies have announced a series of special offers like Buy One Get One Free, Early Bird Discounts and Travel Now Pay Later.
Cruise vacations represent a great value proposition: an all-inclusive vacation filled with entertainment/activities for all age groups, a diversity of dining experiences, and sailing to multiple locations with shore sightseeing – without the hassle check-in/check-out, transfers, etc. With cruises seeing a surge in demand, Thomas Cook and SOTC are offering value deals on cruises such as children under 18 travel free on Costa Cruise Dubai sailings, discounted prices on select Royal Caribbean and NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) Cruises for Europe.
Indian couples and solo travelers (30-45) show a strong preference for spiritual tours that include meditation, yoga and wellness programs like the Yoga Centre/Ashram in Coimbatore, Dharamshala and Rishikesh; Panchakarma program in Kumarakom etc.
Thomas Cook and SOTC’s range of festive offerings also extends to its ready-to-book and personalized experiences, including outdoor and adventure activities like game drives in India’s major national reserves, the cycling, hiking/trekking, camping, rafting and paragliding.
Thomas Cook (India) Limited President and Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Rajeev Kale said: “To encourage our customers, we have introduced a wide range of festive holidays to customers’ favorite destinations, filled with unique experiences. and special offers for our ready-to-book and personalized itineraries to guarantee excellent value for money. Customers can make the most of our flight-free holidays with Vistara Getaways, Air Arabia Holidays and Emirates Holidays.
SOTC President and Country Head – Holidays, Daniel D’Souza, said: “India’s festive season offers the perfect opportunity to travel, especially for families whose schools are closing for their summer holidays. midterms and professionals taking time off and returning to their hometowns to celebrate with their families.