While the travel and hospitality sector in India continues to struggle amid the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitality chain OYO says that India has emerged at the top as the most booked country following the easing of global restrictions and unlocking of the economy.
According to a report published by the hospitality chain titled 'OYO Travelopedia 2020', India was the most booked country while Delhi clocked in the most bookings across the world for it this year.
This OYO Travelopedia is the annual year-end travel index. It includes analysis of actual bookings, cancellations, enquiries and searches that took place on the platform of OYO.
It also mentions that the year started off on a happy note with January being the most travelled month and April witnessing the most cancellations, due to government's precautionary lockdown.
With the unlocking of cities, December has emerged as the month which is witnessing the most demand around the holiday season, it said.
Where did India prefer to travel?
According to the report, as far as pilgrimage destinations go, Puri emerged as India's top pilgrimage destination. It was closely followed by Vrindavan, Tirupati, Shirdi and Varanasi.
In beach destinations, Goa was the hotspot, followed by Kochi, Vizag and Pondicherry.
Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad ranked as the most popular cities among business travellers, while Jaipur, Goa, Kochi were travellers' favourite domestic leisure hotspots, it stated.
This month, over 17 lakh people checked-in over the weekends, with the December 12 weekend emerging at the top with the most bookings thus far.
However, a high number of bookings are expected on December 31 as they are still coming in, the report said.
"The findings of Oyo's Travelopedia is a testament that India is ready to travel again, and we at Oyo are here along with our partners ready to welcome them again. I can confidently say that we are emerging stronger out of this crisis compared to when we entered it," Oyo Hotels and Homes, India and South Asia, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rohit Kapoor told PTI.
India's hospitality and tourism sector suffered three-quarters of economic wipeout estimated to be up to Rs 15 lakh crore, and the industry is desperately looking forward to government support to survive and recover in 2021.
While this black swan event shook the very foundation of this vibrant and bustling sector, the players are putting up a brave front, optimistic to regain the "lost vibrancy in the latter half of 2021" and are banking on 'revenge travel' once the health crisis is controlled to help the sector recover.
-- With inputs from PTI