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The fact that more people are choosing to travel rather than staying at home is a sign of the Indian economy's recovery and the fact that people would rather spend on travel than anything else.

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As the year-end holiday season approaches, more people are choosing to travel than stay at home, a MakeMyTrip report suggests. However, traditional Indian leisure spots continue to be a hot favorite. 

Domestically, there has also been an increase in the number of rooms booked, despite the rising costs for traveling, with an average 10% increase in airfares. 

Top Destinations: Goa, Rajasthan, Varanasi, Kerala, Manali, Ooty, Darjeeling, Coorg, Visakhapatnam, Pondicherry, Srinagar, Amritsar, Gangtok, and Rishikesh for the last week of December. 

International Travel Trends

  • Popular international destinations include Thailand, Dubai, Singapore, and Bali.
  • Emerging favorites are Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Istanbul.
  • A noticeable shift towards booking premium accommodations and higher room categories is observed.

Flight Booking Insights

  • Leading outbound destinations are UAE, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Maldives, USA, Nepal, UK, Canada, and Vietnam.
  • Growing interest in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Kazakhstan, attributed to direct flights and eased visa barriers.

Domestic Flight Patterns

  • Top holiday leisure destinations are Cochin, Srinagar, Goa, and Bagdogra.
  • Pilgrimage sites like Shirdi and Tirupati also see increased travel during holiday periods.

Traveler Behavior Trends

  • Solo bookings show a significant rise for both domestic and international travel.
  • Travelers opt for an average of 6-day vacations, indicating a shift towards slightly longer trips.

India Boosts Rural Tourism with National Competitions

The tourism ministry announced the National Best Tourism Village Competition 2024 and the National Best Rural Homestay Competition 2024. Both events are aimed at advancing the growth of rural tourism in India. In 2023, 35 villages were recognized across India for the award. 

Strategic Initiatives: The tourism ministry has also unveiled the national strategy and roadmap for the development of rural tourism in India, alongside the national strategy for the promotion of rural homestays. 

Multi-Stakeholder Approach: Emphasizing collaboration, the ministry is engaging governments, industry stakeholders, NGOs, and local communities through these competitions. 

Competition Objectives: The National Best Tourism Village and National Best Rural Homestays Competitions are designed to incentivize those communities and individuals which align with sustainable development goals.

Application Details: The competitions accept applications until December 31, 2023.

Manta Air Launches Direct Flights from Bengaluru to Maldives

Manta Air, a well-known Maldivian airline, has officially announced the commencement of direct flights from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport to Dhaalu Airport in the Maldives. This strategic move allows travelers to bypass the traditional transit through Velana International Airport in Male, streamlining the journey and providing direct access to luxury resorts in the Dhaalu Atoll. The direct flights are set to commence in January 2024. 

Efficient Service: Direct flights to Dhaalu Airport aim to save passengers both transit time and additional transfer costs associated with entering the Maldives through Male’ airport. Manta Air ensures easy immigration processes exclusively for its guests at Dhaalu Airport, facilitating quick transfers.

Resorts in Dhaalu Atoll: Dhaalu Atoll is home to some of the Maldives’ top resorts, including Kandima Maldives, Niyama Private Islands, St. Regis Maldives, RIU, Baglioni, Angsana Velavaru, and Sun Siyam Iru Veli.

Optimized Flight Schedules: Flight schedules have been thoughtfully designed to allow guests to maximize their stay in the Maldives. All flights are scheduled to arrive in the Maldives in the mornings and depart late in the evenings for India.

SriLankan Airlines Introduces Double Daily Flights to Mumbai

SriLankan Airlines has introduced double daily flights between Colombo and Mumbai. This new service not only boosts SriLankan Airlines capacity on the Mumbai route by 50 per cent but also reinforces the airline’s extensive network in India. With entry to Sri Lanka becoming visa-free for Indians, the expanded network will only bring more tourists to the cash-strapped country. 

Flight Schedule: The daily flights, UL 142 and UL 144, will depart from Mumbai to Colombo at 3:10hrs and 20:45hrs, respectively. From Colombo to Mumbai, flights UL 141 and UL 143 will depart at 23:45hrs and 17:10hrs, respectively. 

This expanded service offers passengers more options to travel to Colombo and convenient connections to popular destinations in the Far East, Europe, and Australia, including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Melbourne, and Sydney.

India’s Significance in SriLankan’s Network: India holds a significant place in SriLankan Airlines’ network, with nine cities covered, including Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum, Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, and Mumbai. The airline operates close to 100 flights weekly to these destinations.

Atmosphere Core Announces Launch of Atmosphere Living in India

Hospitality company Atmosphere Core has unveiled Atmosphere Living, signaling its ongoing expansion in South Asia. Headquartered in India, this new venture will provide branded ultra-luxury residences with tailored end-to-end amenities, including coffee lounges, wine cellars, private transport, and personalized concierge services.

The global branded residences market has witnessed a notable 150 per cent growth over the past decade, with projections indicating a further surge in demand. 

All properties will integrate features such as smart recycling, efficient waste and water management, and green energy solutions, aligning with contemporary sustainability standards, the company said in a release.

Ministry of Tourism Hosts Round Table Conference 

In a bid to “harness the vast potential of India’s tourism ecosystem,” the tourism ministry recently convened a roundtable conference in New Delhi. 

The conference was aimed at leveraging India’s Tourism Ecosystem potential, fostering discussions between government authorities and industry leaders on policies for sustainable development in the tourism sector.

Participants: Delegates from organizations such as NITI Aayog, UNESCO, UNEP, WTTCII, IUCN, IHMCL, IRCTC, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FHRAI, and international entities like the Intrepid Group attended. Ministries/Departments from Central and State Governments, travel and tourism industry representatives, and educational institutes were also present.

Focus Areas: Discussions regarding identifying culturally rich states, historical trends in booking decisions, education policy alignment, and changing youth perceptions regarding tourism careers, were at the forefront.

Air India Partners with Hirsch Bedner Associates for Lounge Upgrade

Air India has enlisted the services of Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), a hospitality interior design firm, to revamp its lounges at Terminal 3, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, and Terminal 4 of JFK Airport in New York. 

Signature Lounges

  • Following the planned refurbishment and rebuild, Air India has sad that the airline’s lounges in Delhi and New York will become signature spaces.
  • The goal is to provide a world-class lounge experience for over 400,000 guests flying with Air India.

Other Recent Announcements: Air India announced it would be adding more than 400 weekly flights to its domestic and international route network until March 2024. On the back of expected new aircraft deliveries over the next six months, Air India aims to strengthen its domestic India network by adding more than 200 weekly flights.


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Tags: air india, asia monthly, india outbound, makemytrip, maldives, rural tourism, skift india report, sri lanka, visa waiver

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