Travel year-ender: Hottest Indian destinations in 2022

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The tourism sector was the worst affected sector during the Covid-19 pandemic however, post-pandemic the Indian travel and hospitality industry flourished across all sectors as due to international travel restrictions and visa issues, destinations across the country witnessed a spike in tourists like never before. The travel and tourism sector which was crucially hindered by the global pandemic between 2020-2021, enjoyed a massive rebound in 2022 and industry experts are optimistic that this will spill over into 2023 as well.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Prahlad Krishnamurthi, Chief Business Officer at Cleartrip, revealed that the top domestic destinations of 2022 were Goa, Mumbai, New Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. Ankita Sheth, Co-Founder of StayVista, revealed, “We saw travelers narrow down on off-the-grid, untouched destinations like the Northeast, Kashmir and Auli or experience commonly visited one’s from a less commercial point of view. Other than that, destinations that are at drivable distances from metros are an all-time favorite – Alibaug and Lonavala in the West to Kasauli and Mussoorie in the North and Coorg, Wayanad and Ooty down South have been in the spotlight. Apart from this, Goa has been a favorite especially when it comes to year-end holidays. The length of the stay has also seen a spike – an average of 2 nights were booked per stay and it also went up to weeks in some cases!”

Vikas Suri, Vice President of Operations and Development at Lords Hotels and Resorts, shared, “Traditionally, Indians have always preferred hills during the summer and beaches during the winter. However post-pandemic it’s good business all year round across all destinations. Hotels across all cities witnessed buoyant occupancies, the most sought destination were Rajasthan, Goa, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Ooty. Indians are now preferring small frequent trips such as road trips to Alibaug, Lonavala and Karjat being favourites. Be it a road trip or a night at the beach or a jungle safari, trekking, and camping are the most favourable choices for the year 2022.”

According to the Asia – Pacific Outlook 2023 report, Bangalore is the only Indian city listed among the top 3 pacific markets in real estate. Adarsh Narahari, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at ReWild, said, “We have seen how Bangalore as a city has evolved and has today become the first choice of destination for people to buy homes and farmlands. We have also witnessed a huge demand for vacation homes on the outskirts of Bangalore. Considering this, we have enabled buyers to invest in plots in the laps of nature, rich in natural resources, to promote a healthier lifestyle. Luxury real estate is an emerging trend in India as buyers are more inclined towards investing in a well-thought countryside vacation home than traveling across the globe for the same experience. Merely purchasing a piece of land may not add value, as home buyers are keen on investing in properties that provide the essence of a home alongside an exotic experience. While holiday destinations are an escape, home-buyers are now looking for avenues closer to the city that offer offbeat experiences that otherwise they might be deprived of by the hustle and pollution of the crowded city life. Holiday destinations need not be confined to foreign locations but also could be rich, sustainable, and luxurious farmhouses that provide bespoke experiences.”

Echoing the same, Abhilash Narahari, Founder of Ivy Homes, said, “Real estate has traditionally been a top choice for investors. While the last few quarters saw a jump in home sales all across India, Bangalore in particular out performed. The city saw home purchases not just from people residing in Bangalore but from all over. It has also recently attracted a lot more attention from NRIs looking to invest in property.”

After Covid-19, the year 2022 saw a sharp rise in travel with many people rushing to visit their favourite places and the highlands in Manali, Mussoorie, or Shimla, the charming places like Ladakh, Shillong, Meghalaya, Goa and Kerala, continue to be a perennial favourite. Priya Thakur, Founder of LaRiSa Hotels and Resorts, said, “With more visitors coming into these locations throughout the season, the mantra to revitalize, relax, and experience the pinnacle of personalized luxury stays in the lap of nature has come a long way. These locations have proven popular among travellers even during the off-season, as evidenced by the fact that they were always completely booked. These destinations continue to be popular for family vacations as well as solo and corporate travellers, friend groups and couples because they provide exquisite experiences, adventure sports, hiking, gourmet dining, solitude and the harbinger of everything luxury holidaymakers seek. This year, in particular, these destinations have seen an increase in the number of travellers, young and old, from all over the world who are interested in travel and what these places have to offer.”

Mansukh Lamba, Founder and Chief Honcho at BYLOO (Because You Live Only Once), gushed, “The Kumaon hills region of Uttarakhand is amongst the most scenic and sought-after locations in northern India, housing prime destinations such as Corbett, Nainital, Bhowali, Ramgarh, Mukteshwar, Almora and Ranikhet to name a few. It offers stunning views of the Himalayan ranges and dense forests dotted with several highly revered temples, lakes, rivulets, nature trails, and adventure sports activities. The region also boasts of some truly amazing boutique luxury homestays offering very personal, exquisite, private and exclusive stay experiences which are fast gaining the attention of the discerning traveler looking for differentiated experiences.”

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