Thomas Cook India has observed a 20 per cent growth in bookings with high demand during the Holi celebrations. Domestic destinations witnessed a strong uptake of 12-15 per cent while travel to international destinations went up by 22 per cent. Also, interesting to note is the rise of the concept of ‘smart weekend holiday’.

Thomas Cook (India) reported a strong growth in ‘festival tourism’ as the Indian traveller combined spiritual elements with unique cultural experiences. The Kumbh Mela and Holi proved to be significant drivers, with over 20% growth from the previous year. The company also recognized that a ‘smart weekend holiday’ concept (taking a day off from work to extend festival holidays) was creating a distinctive boost to travel demand.

Thomas Cook India’s customer data and analytics also revealed that festival tourism was no longer restricted to India, with the country’s new age travellers opening up to cultural experiences globally. Events such as the water festival/ Songkran in Thailand, the lantern festival in Taiwan, Chinese New Year in Singapore, the Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong, the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, amongst others were being well received by the Indian outbound.

Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head, Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India) commented, “festival Tourism is the new trend, with India’s new age travellers rediscovering their roots and joining in the celebrations of festivals like Holi in India’s Vrindavan, Mathura-Dwarka; also, Mardi Grass, Songkran, and several others in international locations.” He further added, “extending the weekend by taking a day off from work, is giving rise to an interesting concept of smart weekend holidays”