With summer vacations around the corner, Indians have started to explore options to make the best use of their holidays. According to the latest data revealed by Google India of top travel search trends for the months of February to April this year, overall travel queries grew by 53% on Year on Year (YoY) basis. These queries included planning, transport, accommodation, vacation packages and travel documentation.
The country is yet to overcome from ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fever as Goa continued to be the most preferred destination while hill stations such as Manali, Shimla and Ooty also made it to the list of top 10 destinations. However, the largely unexplored Andaman and Nicobar Islands witnessed the biggest boom in terms of popularity and saw a growth of 39.8% on YoY basis. As far as the international destinations are considered, the United States continues to dominate as ‘International accommodation’ and ‘International air’ queries grew by 18% and 13% respectively as compared to last year. UAE and Thailand were also among the popular destinations while Nepal (64.8% increase), Indonesia (42.1% increase) and Bhutan (40.8% growth) witnessed most growth in terms of popularity.
One of the major reasons behind this massive growth was the popularity of mobile devices that have made in very easy to plan and choose destinations. Another interesting trend witnessed this year is the growing interest reflected in ‘Alternate Stays’ with 111% YoY search query growth. Further, ‘destination activities’ also witnessed 102% YoY growth. Google data shows that people now choosing destinations other than metro cities. There was a growth of 70% YoY in travel queries from non-metro cities while 40.80% of all travel related queries emerging from cities and towns beyond Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.
As far as the mode of travel is considered, Railways services emerged as the most searched witnessing a 56% YoY growth. The quantum of search queries for rail services was nearly twice as high as the combined searches for all other modes of travel including air, bus, taxi, and car rentals