Travelling to Goa this festive season? Top travel trends to track before you head out

The hesitation to travel is comparatively less, with the decrease in the COVID cases and increase in the vaccinations, which have made travellers more confident to take the plunge. (Image: The Westin)

Goa is beckoning travellers again! COVID-19 has changed the world that we are familiar with, more so for those who loved to wander and explore the world on their own terms. Remember, David Mitchel’s famous quote “Travel far enough, you meet yourself,” and it is clear that these wise words belong to a world before the pandemic hit hard.

Should you take a workcation?

What exactly is a workcation? Working while taking a vacation sums it up well. Initially, when the pandemic struck, people felt comforted by the fact that they were with family members. Cooped up for long in the same space and with the stress of regular work-from-home, a sense of restlessness began to set in for most people. Clearly, people are now keen to take workcations and spend leisurely moments with family while balancing work as well.

“People prefer short and drivable destinations. Also, the demand for remote locations has risen. Goa is still going through its off-season phase while in the midst of the festive period. With people worn out from working from home, there has been a spike in workcation. Increasingly, without compromising on quality, people are looking out for affordable options. Safety and hygiene are still a priority for people and they are looking for hotels, which make it their top priority. As a centrally located hotel in Anjuna, our main focus is to ensure that our guests live this experience to the fullest,” Sunil Kumar, General Manager, The Westin Hotel, Anjuna, informs The Financial Express Online.

A hotelier with more than two decades of experience in world class luxury hotels such as the Oberoi hotels, St Regis, Westin, Hyatt and more, Sunil Kumar understands the challenges and trends pertaining to the hospitality segment. In his view, the festive season renews hope for the hospitality industry and marks the road to revival. Travel has picked up with the festive season and long weekend trips to Goa are back with full festive cheer!

Is Goa worth visiting in 2021?

In 2020, when travel restrictions began to ease and domestic flights resumed, Goa turned out to be one of the most popular travel destinations in the country. The number of travel bookings to Goa topped the list throughout last year, indicating clearly that it remains a top leisure destination for Indian travellers who want to unwind and enjoy a break from the new normal.

Recent hotel launches in Goa also indicate that the uptick in demand remains robust. Fortune Hotels, a member of ITC hotel group, recently inked an agreement for a resort to open in Benaulim, South Goa. In October, the resort is expected to open, thereby coinciding with the festive season. Also, with this latest addition, Fortune Hotels has marked 50 alliances spanning 43 cities across the country and has three unique offerings in Goa itself and remains poised to multiply its inventory in India’s most popular holiday destination.

How many days are enough for a Goa trip?

Before the pandemic, people used to take short weekend breaks to Goa and sometimes up to a week or more. Now, travellers heading to Goa are opting to stay for a longer duration. In 2020, several travel trends showed that travellers went on to book villas, hotel rooms that suited their budget and enjoy the break from the ‘new normal’ with a focus on working and enjoying every minute.

What is peak season in Goa?

December kickstarts the beginning of Goa’s festivities as it gears up to a carnival-like vibe and marks its most colourful peak season to celebrate Christmas. The peak season continues till January, coinciding with New Year celebrations and parties in Goa.

Expressing an optimistic outlook for the upcoming festive season, Sunil Kumar informs, “This will be The Westin Goa’s first festive season as we launched in April 2021. We can say on the basis of bookings we have received so far that the festive season will see families comprising more than two members travelling together and enjoying Durga Puja and Diwali festivals. The hesitation to travel is comparatively less, with the decrease in the COVID cases and increase in the vaccinations, which have made travellers more confident to take the plunge. With the cap on the bookings, the overall experience for guests too have become more intimate and tailor made to their requests.”

For Goa’s hotels and resorts, the upcoming festive season is core to the hospitality business and offers a roadmap for survival even as the pandemic related shutdowns triggered concerns related to keeping the hotel businesses afloat. To that end, the festive spirit of hope renews itself through new hotel launches and offerings that Goa continues to witness as it plans to welcome travellers once again.

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