Luxury winter travel looks promising in 2022, says Rajeev Kale of Thomas Cook India

Domestic destinations such as Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir feature high on the list of winter travel destinations for Indian luxury travellers. Switzerland, Finland, Greenland, Iceland and Sri Lanka are their choice of global destinations.

Thomas Cook India recently launched a slew of deals across top domestic and international destinations to accelerate festive and winter bookings. The response was tremendous—particularly from affluent travellers.

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Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook India, believes travellers are showing interest in luxurious experiences.

“With easing restrictions, reopening of international borders and acceptance of vaccines, we saw a significant pent-up demand for luxury travel for both domestic and international destinations,” says Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook India.

He added that travellers are showing interest in luxurious experiences to make the most of their long-awaited holidays at the end of the year, which will spill over into the upcoming year. 

“Our customers are extending their holidays pre- and post-New Year, thereby consuming their unused leaves and indulging in a week-long vacation,” says Kale.

Suggested read: Jispa: A journey through stupas and snow-laden mountains

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Switzerland has been a winter destnation of choice for Indians after filmmaker Yash Chopra popularised this lovely country and its snow-swathed mountains.

Affluent travellers are opting for premium experiences, which includes personalized services, gourmet meals, and exceptional aesthetics. “The top-of-the-world experiences can be anything, from dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant to staying at a private island surrounded by water, travelling by private jet, staying at luxury villas inside a vineyard, spending holidays at a 1000-year-old Italian castle, customized yacht trips and onboard a luxury cruise ship,” explained Kale.

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Indians, looking to explore new destinations, are also picking Finnish Lapland, where vast natural landscapes are carpeted in a blanket of snow.

According to the Kale, the preferred international winter destinations are Switzerland, Finland, Greenland, Iceland and Sri Lanka. Domestic destinations such as Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Andamans, and Rajasthan and Kerala, too, attract Indian tourists. Traveldine has been running a #TDWinterList campaign on our instagram profile, traveldine_india, and a series of stories on the website to promote winter tourism in India.

Cordelia cruises, which takes travellers to warmer climes of Goa, Kochi and Lakshadweep, make winter travel far more enjoyable.

“We are also seeing enquiries from millennials for Rann Utsav along with high demand from families to celebrate New Year onboard Cordelia Cruises,” says Kale.

According to a report by Third Holiday Readiness Report, about 66% respondents are willing to increase spends to ensure higher levels of health and safety on their holiday. 

“Our customers are careful in choosing their hotels and there is an increased focus on health and safety. Luxury hotel groups like Marriott, Accor, Taj Hotels, and Hilton provide the much-needed reassurance when it comes to following strict safety measures,” said Kale.

Forecasting a surge in luxury travel in 2022, he added that, besides the regular spa and wellness getaways, there will be a demand for private escapes, branded residences, and pet-friendly travel.

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