No off-season now, monsoon tourism sees 30% increase

No off-season now, monsoon tourism sees 30% increase

Compared to the list of domestic destinations that are popular during summer vacation or in the second-half of the year during Diwali and year-end winter holidays, the list of monsoon holiday spots isn’t that long. But in the past few years, the list has grown to go beyond the conventional destinations like Goa and Kerala and include a number of smaller and lesser-known places across the country. With more and more people taking short holidays during long weekends, the concept of ‘off-season’—the monsoon months of June, July and August when tourist traffic falls—has almost turned obsolete.

Shravan Gupta of FCM Travel Solutions said, “There is nothing called ‘off-season travel’ in India anymore. In fact, the spirit of India truly comes alive during monsoons, showcasing its dense and diverse natural riches. We have seen a 52% increase in last-minute booking this season, largely from travellers keen on outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, hiking trails and trekking in rainforests.”

Among the popular offbeat monsoon destinations in India are Lahaul-Spiti (Himachal Pradesh), Tinsukia (Assam), Mandu (Madhya Pradesh), Kausani (Uttarakhand) and Athirapally falls (Kerala). And, destinations that have been picking up are Mawlynnong (Meghalaya), Panshet (Maharashtra) and Digha (West Bengal), according to a monsoon trends analysis by FCM. In addition to these unconventional destinations observed this monsoon, Coorg, Kerela, Goa and Ladakh continue to be the perennial favourites.
“Monsoon 2017 findings also testify a spike of 30% in domestic travel. The discerning new-age traveller has been taking advantage of low tariff rates and discounts, further fuelling to the demand this season,” said Gupta, adding that the other monsoon trend observed this year included a 15-20% rise in self-drives, especially from Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad through the scenic Konkan coastal route. “Solo travel has also seen an 10-15% rise with travellers from key metros (Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bengaluru) heading to the hills for quick monsoon getaways to the aforementioned off-beat destinations,” he added.
Sharat Dhall of yatra.com said off-season vacations have their own perks as travel and accommodation can be availed at cheaper rates. “The traffic is driven by airlines announcing sales in advance to stimulate early booking. We have observed an increase of over 68% in their flight bookings for the monsoon season as compared to 2016; for hotels there has been over 300% increase.”

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