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Back from pandemic, travellers seek luxury and adrenaline  

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It has now been established that people coming out of the pandemic are travelling with vengeance. But like in every sector, even tourism trends have changed drastically in the post-COVID times. From preferred destination and activities to accommodation, choices are different. As they were restricted from travelling for almost two years, holidayers are now looking to make the best use of even smaller windows they get and reap a vacation out of it. Such mini/micro vacations, which are dubbed as minications, along with staycations are being taken frequently by travellers.

Travel enthusiasts from Bengaluru especially are willing to spend the extra rupees on their tours to incorporate elements of luxury in their vacations, according to the tour conductors. “Having unspent travel budgets, our Bengaluru customers are displaying strong appetite for luxury travel — for that once in a lifetime experience”, said Santosh Kanna, Vice President, Leisure Travel – Thomas Cook (India) Limited.

He added that despite a 10-20% rise in the overall costs of international travel due to supply constraints, customers from the city are open to increasing their travel budget by 20% as they waited two years for international vacations. However, visa challenges have driven these customers to select closer-to-home, easy visa destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Explore the unexplored

Apart from visiting the regular favourite domestic destinations like Goa, Rajasthan and Kashmir, tourists now go in search of non-commercial, less crowded places around the State. Demand has newly grown for Honnemaradu on the banks of river Sharavathi in Shivamogga, Karighatta Hill near Srirangapatna, Sasihithlu beach in Mangaluru, villages which offer homestays along the Western Ghats. Most of the time, these places are accommodated in the itinerary which is built around other popular places.

“These offbeat destinations have become the preference for the travellers in Karnataka because of their scenic beauty which attracts the travellers. As they are less commercial, most people visit nearby destinations as a weekend getaway by clubbing it with a holiday during festivals to get more days to travel”, said Rikant Pittie, Co – founder, Ease My Trip.

The twin rocks at Ramanagaram.
| Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Adrenaline and spirituality 

The pandemic has also sent travellers seeking some kind of adrenaline rush, which has accelerated the number of bike tours in the State. While Nandi Hills, Kodagu and Sakleshpura are the preferred destinations for these tours within the State, Ladakh is the prime choice otherwise. With concerns about hygiene and safety, tourists also prefer to drive themselves to destinations instead of taking buses or trains. Many also go on trekking, camping, adventure sports like paragliding, scuba diving, rafting tours during long holidays.

Seen as an aftereffect of lockdowns, an uptick has been observed in the number of tourists who prefer rejuvenation or wellness tourism in the post covid days.

The South Canara temple circuit, including Dharmasthala, Sringeri, Kukke Subramanya and others and Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh, are also popular among spiritual tourists.

“Tourists now seek more experiences in travel. Especially during the monsoon, Karnataka is very beautiful. So, they focus more on the journey, enjoy the local cuisine and get hands on experiences during their trips. We have also seen that bike tours and activities like hiking have increased now,” said an official from the Tourism department. 

“With Dasara festival soon approaching, for most days before and after the festival, ours as well as other private properties in the State, are running full, indicating high demand,” the official added.

Another interesting trend is how tourists are now ditching their usual lodging options like five-star hotels and resorts, for exotic locations like heritage bungalows, havelis/ palaces, forts, in the heart of a desert or bamboo grove, tree houses or tea estates, reported travel planners.



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