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Goa, Delhi emerge as most-booked destinations for December

Indians are packing their bags for Goa—the country’s best party destination—to ring in the New Year.

The most-booked leisure destination for New Year’s eve in India at the moment is Goa, according to bookings data shared by tech solutions provider RateGain, which processes hotel and other travel related transactions for travel and hospitality companies.

RateGain Travel Technologies Ltd, which works with about 2,200 companies including 23 hotel chains and 25 online tour operators, said that as of last week, it had processed bookings for 8,300 room nights in December in Goa in the organized hotel industry.

However, as business travel and weddings bounce back, Delhi’s total bookings for the month are higher at more than 16,100 nights. The sharpest rise in bookings is for the second and fourth weeks of December, the company said.

“Even with the ongoing fear of recession around the world, we continue to witness a surge in travel over the next three months in India with locations like Delhi and Goa showing higher levels of activity as compared to pre-covid levels. And with India assuming the G20 presidency our assumption is that we will see a higher surge in travel in 2023,” said Ankit Chaturvedi, vice president and global head of marketing, RateGain.

Earlier this month, Ranju Alex, area vice president, south Asia for Marriott International said people are not just staying in hotels but also celebrating in them.

“We have seen a huge surge in weddings in our hotels and a lot of social gatherings. They want experiences, when they travel, and they want luxury, “ she said. Marriott launched St Regis in Goa last month.

Bookings across other tourist destinations are expected to start picking up by the second week of December as more Indians start planning their year-end getaways, the company added. Other than Goa, destinations such as Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Shimla and Udaipur (in descending order) are going to be favourites in terms of booked room nights. Offbeat locations like Gaya and Sawai Madhopur were new entrants in the list and while still smaller than the frequently travelled cities, have seen a significant jump over last year, it added.

With Indian travellers going back to advance booking that had taken a beating during the pandemic, hotels in Goa are already witnessing high bookings for popular dates like Valentine’s Day in February 2023.

On an average, Indians booking their travel five weeks in advance. Delhi bookings are already witnessing a pick up around 26th January, added RateGain.

According to estimates by the Goa tourism industry, in FY2018, the state received close to 8 million tourists, which dropped to 3.3 million in 2021.

For Delhi, 7.6 million travellers are expected to arrive over the next 90 days via air. Domestic travellers, at 5.6 million will account for a major chunk of these arrivals.

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