Travelers on major Indian metros “escape” for a breath of fresh air

Online travel platforms and accommodation providers are seeing last minute booking requests from travelers from cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore or early vacation requests, a trend they are now calling travel ” escape ”to tackle growing air quality problems in cities.

Aloke Bajpai, CEO of the group and co-founder of Ixigo, said the platform is seeing a trend of “escape tourism” in subways such as Delhi, where rising pollution levels are driving tourists. to flock to destinations such as Goa in search of fresh air. “Beach destinations are a preferred choice among travelers. We have seen a 55-60% increase in search queries for beach destinations like Goa and Andamans to travel in November,” he said.

Vipul Prakash, COO of MakeMyTrip, said the platform is seeing an increase in bookings from Delhi which could be attributed to rising pollution levels, with many opting for drug rehab in the hilltop town or in a seaside resort in Goa. “Currently, bookings for the third week of November from Delhi are up 50% from leisure bookings made before Diwali,” he said.

Deep Banka, chief operating officer of Zostel, said a direct relationship was observed between air quality and travel. He said a 20% drop in imposed pollution was impacting Zostel’s bookings in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. “In addition, a contrasting parallel can be drawn for the remote locations that can be driven from these centers,” he added. Places experiencing an increase in bookings on Zostel include Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand; Shangarh, Burwa and Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh; Kolad and Lonavala in Maharashtra; Gokarna and Coorg in Karnataka; and Wayanad in Kerala.

Vista Rooms co-founder Pranav Maheshwari said that over the past two weeks, the chain has received requests from travelers to prepare for their stay. “Due to the high volumes, we have to turn down some of them. From an average of 4 to 5 days, most of these bookings have gone down to 10 to 12 days. Compared to last year, customers were asking usually one or two days of extension., this time it is 7-8 days. This has been noticed mainly in Delhi and Maharashtra, “he said.

EaseMyTrip has seen an increase in bookings from Delhi and Mumbai for hill stations such as Ooty and Manali, among others. Ixigo said that due to increasing levels of pollution in metropolitan cities, more and more people are planning “green getaways”.

About 35% of search queries for “green vacations” came from people residing in cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai on the platform.

The company said that with people wishing to escape to untapped and quirky places in search of fresh air, beach destinations are a preferred choice among travelers this month.

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