After spending nearly a year adhering to social distancing norms and the pandemic-led lockdown, consumer aspiration is leading to 'revenge travel' across short-haul destinations.
The hospitality industry felt the early signs of this travel during the festive season and the sentiment continues to see a positive movement every long weekend, said a statement by hospitality major OYO Hotels & Homes.
OYO witnessed a 20 per cent jump in occupancy over the Valentine's-Day weekend, with up to a 70 per cent rise in online traffic of pre-COVID levels in India, indicating the country's rising confidence to travel again with guests ranging from SMEs, couples, family and friend groups, as well as solo travellers.
As India celebrated Valentine's Day, with around 20 per cent demand stemming from Rajasthan in comparison to other leisure destinations, Jaipur continues to be the top choice amongst travellers. Goa and Kochi follow suit, the OYO statement said.
Last weekend, nearly 25 per cent of holidaymakers headed on road trips between the cities of Kochi, Agra, Visakhapatnam, Mysore and Udaipur.
Beach destinations across India including Goa, Puri, Pondicherry, and Digha as well as desert destinations, specifically, Jaipur, Jodhpur contributed to nearly 20 per cent of the total Valentine's Day-led demand respectively, followed 12 per cent holidaymakers who preferred spending their weekend surrounded by nature at hill stations such as Ooty, Lonavala, Mussoorie and Coorg.
Commenting on the spike in bookings, Yatish Jain, Chief Growth Officer, OYO Hotels & Homes, India and South Asia said: "Post-lockdown, we've seen an uptick in demand for several weekends, including Gandhi Jayanthi, Diwali, Christmas, New Years and now Valentine's Day. In the past, every year after the holiday season, there's a gradual dip in bookings in January, however, this year was different."
"We anticipated volumes of revenge travel every long weekend, including Valentine's Day that saw a steady increase in occupancy up to 20 per cent from the previous week."
He said that the hotel chain's overall online traffic was more than 70 per cent of pre-COVID levels and hit its highest post-COVID.