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Booking.com reports renewed preference for foreign travel

Travel sentiment seems to be picking up in step with the gradual relaxation of pandemic restrictions.
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Moscow is one of the destinations Indians are hoping to visit. Image: Shutterstock/TT Studio.

Travel accommodation aggregator Booking.com, has revealed an increased preference for international travel as Indians look to escape lockdown fatigue and avail of relaxation of restrictions on the back of higher rates of vaccination. Accordingly, the US, Russia and Maldives occupy top spots in travel searches, followed by Switzerland, Qatar, Canada, UK, Mexico, Armenia, and France.

But this new-fangled interest in international travel has not diminished interest in staycations and road-trips to closer-to-home destinations. Hence, not surprisingly, metro cities and adjacent getaways are firmly on travellers’ radar. Topping the list are New Delhi, Mumbai and Lonavala, after which are Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Leh and Udaipur.

Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager, South Asia, Booking.com,says, “With more and more Indians getting vaccinated and travel restrictions being lifted in phases, we are starting to see pent-up demand for travel. Trends that emerged during the pandemic such as closer-to-home destinations, staycations and road-trips remain popular, but at the same time we are also seeing travel intent gradually resume for international travel.

In striving to visit these locations, people are quite flexible in choosing between various accommodation types: hotels, resorts guest houses, villas, and apartments. But the common criterion remains a marked importance to cleanliness and hygiene – with searches for these keywords increasing by over 60 per cent. Booking.com has been encouraging its accommodation partners to visibly demonstrate positive measures in this regard to assure visitors. The aggregator has also rolled out a flexible booking policy that allows free cancellation up to a day prior to check-in, while also providing for re-assignment of travel dates.

Booking.com is available in 44 languages and offers more than 28.4 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.6 million listings of homes, apartments, and other unique places to stay.

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