Indian travellers are choosing to travel domestically during Diwali in 2013.
Over the last two months, Wego has recorded a spike in searches for travel within India for the Diwali festive period from 1 to 7 November. According to Wego, almost 98% of overall traffic to the site, shows a significant shift from searches compared to last year. Also, booking time prior to the festival showed more last minute searches compared to last year, where Indians searched and planned their travel activity at least a month before Diwali. In 2013, Indian travellers have appeared to delay until the last couple of weeks before considering their travel options.
“It’s quite possible that the weakening rupee has many travellers deciding to travel within the country and get the greatest value from their travel budget,” commented Jackson Fernandez, managing director of Wego India. “Last minute searches could also indicate a desire to secure the best travel offers which are often announced closer to the holiday season. We’ve also experienced a hike in airfares which could also have made an impact on flight numbers,” he added.
The overall low number of domestic flight searches compared to the volume of domestic hotel clicks suggests that travellers are opting for destinations closer to home and travelling by alternative modes of transport. The most popular destinations recorded at Wego were Goa, Shimla, Gangtok, Ooty and Munnar. Internationally, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates topped the popularity list, followed by Thailand and the Maldives.
“Many may have taken advantage of early-bird discounts and package offers for the international destinations or could quite possibly be visiting family who are working, especially in the UAE or Singapore. The ease of using Wego to identify the best prices and travel options is also assisting travellers to identify last minute flights and hotel deals leading into Diwali, and we expect this spike in searches to continue right up until the festival begins,” Fernandez said.