School board exams began as early as mid-March leading to extended summer holidays for Indian travellers in 2016 which went on till July, according to a survey by Thomas Cook India. "A unique trend specific to Summer 2016 was an extended summer across source markets. Typically, India's peak summer travel season for west and south India covers April and May. "However, this year saw demand extending to June and July, courtesy varying vacation periods across school boards - starting as early as mid-March. This has seen cascading demand into June, July and August," said the '2016 Indian Summer Travel Report Card' (ISTRC'16). Key markets such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata mainly contributed to this trend along with mini- metros like Pune, Indore and Ahmedabad. ISTRC'16 was based on bookings and queries made for key holiday season starting as early as mid-march onwards at Thomas Cook across India. The survey also revealed that more than 39 per cent Indian travellers were early planners this year, planning almost 120-180 days prior to departure and opting for long haul destinations such as Australia, South Africa, US and New Zealand. Considering a number of long weekends in 2016, more than 66 per cent of travellers preferred clubbing public holidays with personal leave. The survey also found that 65 per cent people opted for foreign tours. Also, emergence of 'slow travel' with options like walking tours saw an increase. There was high demand for Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, UK, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic and Croatia. Short hauls like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong-Macau and Bali were also preferred with new entrants like Korea, Japan and China. The US saw strong interest with marked increase for New York, San Francisco and LA along with Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Florida. "Spurred by a burgeoning economy that has improved the spending power, coupled with declining airfares, Indians have emerged as the world's newest globetrotters. "Despite a depreciating rupee, travel sentiment remained highly upbeat with focus on early planning and maximising savings. The survey saw new trends including an extended summer and slow travel," Thomas Cook (India) president and Country Head - Leisure Travel, MICE - Rajeev D Kale said.