Turismo indiano alla ricerca di nuove mete da scoprire

MUMBAI: The travel bug is biting Indians off-season.

Come summer and the desi traveller is known to pack the bag and head for cooler climes abroad, particularly Europe – a region often showcased on Indian silver screens. School summer vacations make planning all the more convenient.

However, there’s a marked shift now. European winter, traditionally the domain of the well- heeled, is being flocked to by the masses too. Data from large tour operators highlight the emergence of the volume based escorted group tour customer.

About 67% of Indians would love to experience European ‘white Christmas’, a recent survey by Hotels.com said.

“Europe, typically avoided in the fourth quarter by the group traveller market due to cold weather, now has a new-found appeal,” said Thomas Cook India senior V-P (outbound leisure market) Jatinder Paul Singh. The company saw 40-50% growth in its group series to Europe over last winter.

“Visiting popular destinations in off-season is becoming a trend, not just among discerning travellers but also for Indian tourists in general. This year, the maximum traction garnered by a foreign destination during an off-season has been Europe,” said Neelu Singh, COO, Ezeego1.com, which saw 20-25% increase in its bookings for European destinations this winter.

With airfares at least 20% cheaper and hotels offering 10-20% discount, the freezing climate is perhaps the last thing on travellers’ minds, tour operators said. Because, Europe, in winter, comes alive with festive cheer — stunning street decor, giant Christmas trees in street squares, carol singing groups, orchestras and vibrant markets.

“Snow is an attraction and not a deterrent for a section of Indians who love to experiment,” Cox & Kings relationships head Karan Anand said. This year, the company saw a 30% rise in both group travellers as well as customized holidays over the past couple of years.

Historically, August to December has been a low-travel period, leading to a glut. But Switzerland’s alpine treks, snow-mobiling, skiing, tobogganing and sleigh rides and Finland’s magical Santaland have popped up on Indians’ radar, changing travel business dynamics.

“Indians are stepping out of their comfort zones and exploring non-traditional and unconventional opportunities,” Singh of Thomas Cook said.

Concurring with the view, Vishal Suri, CEO- tour operating, Kuoni India, said, “Unlike earlier, Indians don’t mind going to cold regions for winter holiday trips.”


GDA Giancarlo Dall'Ara Consulenze e progetti di marketing
Palazzo Maffei - 47866 Sant'Agata Feltria (RN)
tel. 0541 929777, fax 0541 929744 e-mail: giancarlo.dallara@gmail.com
Cookie Policy