With 2017 on the cusp of retirement, Google India has revealed the top travel trends observed from September to November this year. The trends highlight search behaviour transformations of the Indian audience, compared with travellers’ data documented during the same period in 2016.
As per Google, holiday related search queries have increased 27% this year, with the vogue being ‘luxury’, ‘honeymoon’, and ‘safari’ destinations. Both international and domestic luxury searches have increased by 34%, amid online hunts for ‘royal holidays’, that has spiked 12 times.
The quest for warmer topographies and related activities become widespread during winters, which can be associated with a 32% rise in safari destination explorations. Searches for Desert Safari in Dubai, Night Safari in Singapore, Bali Safari and Marine Park, as well as Safari World in Bangkok have surged; in conjunction with Google’s insight.
Other than aspiring for a warmer panorama, winter also marks the dawn of the wedding season and with it, honeymoon plans. Seychelles, Maldives, and Bali top the honeymooners’ international search list this season as the trends show a 40% rise in these queries.
The search perusal for international destinations such as The Vatican has grown almost eight times, followed by Myanmar by three times and Hungary two times. Buzz about these locations range from ‘private tours of the Sistine Chapel after-hours’, ‘what to see at the Vatican Museum’, to ‘Myanmar tourism’, ‘Burma tourist map’, and ‘things to do in Budapest’.
Talking about international travel trends, it is fascinating to see that Dubai still continues to be the most searched destination, followed by Bangkok, Thailand, and Disneyland USA. Apart from the search for destination activities such as safaris, international cricket as an international excursion observed a rise of 456%, fuelled by matches held at Melbourne, Australia and Lords, UK.
Within India, ‘God’s own country’, Kerala has preserved its popularity as the most crowd-pleasing destination for domestic travellers. Weekend getaways, specifically near Delhi, has become an extremely popular search term, culminating in a 361% increase. Hence, places like Rajasthan and Srinagar known for its fervent tourism, are fast becoming popular amongst domestic travel pursuits.
The trends also cite that Indians are planning their travel in advance, as last-minute bookings has reduced by 17% for domestic travel and 20% for international trips. The proliferation of smartphones has further made it possible for travellers to research, plan their itinerary and single out their travel prospects real-time. Google search data indicates two out of three holiday related searches are now happening on mobile devices and searches on desktops have reduced.