It’s no secret that Indians love to travel. In fact, with access to vaccines, they began to travel again, exploring places inside the country and even abroad.
According to recent data shared by Agoda, an international digital travel platform, four states (in order of ranking) – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan – accounted for 50% of India’s top 100 destinations (to date) .
New Delhi, Goa and Mumbai retained their places in the top three, with Mumbai overtaking Goa as the second most popular travel destination. Delhi retains its pole position.
Data also suggests that the restrictions have given Indians the opportunity to rediscover many hidden gems, with trips closer to home and off-the-beaten-path destinations pushing the rankings higher. For example, places like Kanyakumari, Puri, Shirdi, Alleppey and Rameswaram have jumped more than 20 places. But conversely, Lucknow and Shimla – two big tourist attractions – fell in popularity by more than 15 and 13 places respectively.
Interestingly, 16 cities in Tamil Nadu made the list of top destinations, along with Kanyakumari, Chennai, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Madurai, as well as lesser-known destinations like Tiruvannamalai, Tirunelveli, Kumbakonam, and Thanjavur.
Kerala and Maharashtra have 12 and 9 destinations respectively, which all encompass scenic hot spots like Kochi, Munnar, Alleppey, Kovalam in Kerala and Mumbai and Pune in the top 10, as well as popular hill stations like Mahabaleshwar and Lonavala which go up in Maharashtra.
The destinations of Rajasthan include cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur.
According to the data, Leh experienced the biggest jump in popularity last year, rising from 169 the previous year to the top 100. Seven of India’s eight Union Territories are again in the top 100 destinations this year. , including three in the top 15. Delhi is in the lead, with Puducherry not far behind, both in the top 10. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands come into the picture. at number 11, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Daman & Diu round off the rest of the union’s territories in the top 100. Only Lakshadweep did not reach the top 100.
Moreover, in terms of religious experiences, while Tirupati has remained in the same place, other destinations like Puri, Shirdi, Amritsar, Pushkar and Varanasi have arrived in the ranking this year. Almost 25% of the top 100 cities traveled to have strong religious significance, with Varanasi and Tirupati being the main spiritual destinations.
In fact, Shirdi even saw a surge in popularity, breaking into the top 25 from 62nd the previous year. Puri and Rameswaram, known for their exquisite temples, also entered the top 50.
“Our reservation data shows that Indians across the country still want to travel and prioritize safety, which has led to innovative vacations – opting for nature, less touristy destinations often not far from home. They had new experiences and in doing so discovered hidden treasures in their own country, ”said Krishna Rathi, Country Director India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, Agoda, of the results.
Agoda’s comparable booking data sets were compiled from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2020 and from June 1, 2020 to June 1, 2021.