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May 17, 2017 10:24 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Why Tirupati, Shirdi & Amritsar may see more pilgrims this summer

Number of searches for international destinations also saw a surge in Feb-April, according to Google India.

Why Tirupati, Shirdi & Amritsar may see more pilgrims this summer

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Indian travelers are packing their suitcases a lot more than before and a chunk of that demand is coming from non-metro cities and towns.

Between February and April, Indian travelers initiated 70 percent more holiday-related searches on Google, compared to last year.

Among the spiritually inclined netizens, Tirupati, Amritsar, Puri, Varanasi and Shirdi were the most searched destinations, in that order.

"Overall travel related queries including planning, transport, accommodation, vacation packages and travel documentation witnessed a 53 percent growth in the same period," Google India said in a statement.

Google search data did not specify how much of these searches actually get converted to planned itineraries.

The surge in usage of smartphones and mobile data in smaller towns and cities, more affordable stay options catapulted by budget hotel aggregation startups, have made it easy for travelers to plan their travels independently.

Over 40 percent searches were from cities and towns beyond Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.

Interestingly, the number of queries for International destinations has also seen a rise in a matter of three months, indicating that Indians are planning their travels abroad, well in advance.

The most searched international destination on Google India was the US, followed by UAE and Thailand.

The searches peaked starting mid-February with an 18 percent increase in queries for international accommodations.

For domestic travel, Goa continued to be the top destination, but hill stations such as Manali, Shimla, and Ooty also managed to feature in top 10.
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