This Valentine’s Day, Thomas Cook India reveals that Indian couples prefer shorter romantic breaks

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· Highlights significant trends and popular destinations for romantic getaways

Mumbai, February 13, 2018: Travel is at once a never-ending source of new experiences and memories. There’s no question that couples are changing the travel landscape worldwide. This Valentine’s Day India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, Thomas Cook India has observed a significant trend in couples taking shorter romantic breaks instead of a longer holiday. Despite not being a part of the extended weekend, Thomas Cook India is witnessing a strong growth in demand for Valentine’s Day of about 22% over the previous year. The company has observed a clear shift in demand from traditional pure romantic packages to unconventional itineraries that incorporate romance and fun! Romance is a huge driver for travel as Indian travelers pack bags for everything right from pre-wedding shoots to babymoon. Couples check into experiences more than a plush hotel room. They want to indulge in local experiences. There has been an 18-20% increase in demand for local experiences as compared to the last year. It is also observed that Indian couples choose quick getaways over long holidays. In terms of high-end luxury indulgence, the most favored destinations remain the sandy terrains of Rajasthan and the tropical island of Maldives. Thomas Cook India has zeroed in on some of most romantic cities in India and abroad with swoon-worthy attractions and experiences which travellers are opting for this Valentine’s Day.
Text Box: • Romantic Travel segment: Thomas Cook India reveals that this is on a high growth trajectory 22% increase in bookings this year

• A clear shift observed: Couples looking for unconventional and fun experiences rather than merely traditional romantic packages

Preferred Destinations for short breaks 2018:
• Dubai
• Thailand
• Singapore
• Malaysia
• Kerala
• Rajasthan

International Destinations & Experiences
While destinations like Maldives, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Bali have been dominating honeymoon lists since years, destinations like Auckland and Rotorua in New Zealand, Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Australia and Fiji are seeing great demand for honeymoons this year. Abu DhabI, Yas island are great for fun and adrenaline infused vacation while France and Italy are the epitome of Romance. South Africa is also emerging as a popular honeymoon destination amongst millennial looking to experience wildlife and adventure while Korea is fast emerging as a destination for wellness/spa and shopping. High demand has also been observed for Kenya. A growth of around 18% has been observed in the outbound travel segment by the Company.

Couples are capitalising on visa free (visa not required) or visa-on-arrival destinations like Bali, Jordan, Thailand and Kenya and Islands like Mauritius, Maldives, & Seychelles.

Domestic Destinations & Experiences
In 2017 many domestic destinations saw an uptake for honeymoons of about 12% rise in bookings as compared to 2016. Thomas Cook India’s domestic segment has also launched exclusive Romantic Getaways across 16 different destinations in and around India last year. Couples are opting for domestic destinations like Kerala, Rajasthan, Andaman, Himachal, Goa and Bhutan for their honeymoon. Sri Lanka and Uttarakhand are also emerging strongly.

Destinations like Kerala and Karnataka are gaining popularity amongst couples for its wilderness, Bhutan for a luxurious getaway, Andamans for its offbeat, romantic and private hideaways as well as adventurous activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, sea bed walking etc. Goa has been the hot favorite and popular for bachelor/ bachelorette trips. For pre wedding shoots architectural and historical backdrops are popular amongst couples. While Taj Mahal at Agra continues to be the favorite, Charminar in Hyderabad and Hampi in Karnataka are also gaining popularity amongst couples.