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Will Ayodhya Be 2024's Top Tourist Destination?

December 27, 2023 09:08 IST
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There are over 10 long weekends in 2024.

And over 30 countries where you can travel without a visa.

But that's not the only thing that will excite Indians while planning short and long holidays with family and friends in the New Year.

So what does 2024 look like for Indian travellers?

Take a look!

Pamper yourself at a wellness retreat like Malaika

IMAGE: Spa retreats and wellness tourism will attract millennials in 2024. Photograph: Kind courtesy Malaika Arora/Instagram

Wellness Travel

Unlike the earlier generations who preferred stressful, tightly scheduled sightseeing trips, the younger generation is more likely to embrace relaxed holidays.

According to Daniel D'Souza, president and country head, holidays, SOTC Travel, the current generation is burdened by work fatigue and is looking for holidays where they can rest and rejuvenate.

"Trends like sleep tourism, which go beyond uninterrupted sleep to include activities like yoga, swimming and spa wellness therapy, are gaining widespread popularity. Consequently, accommodations offering soundproof rooms, sleep consultations, recorded sleep meditations, pillow menus, sleep kits and concierge services are experiencing a surge in demand," says D'Souza.

Top places for wellness travel: Goa, Rishikesh, Coorg, Mysore, Kodaikanal, Alleppey and Puducherry.


Ram Mandir in Ayodhya may interest travellers in 2024

IMAGE: The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will open its doors to visitors on January 23, 2024, after the Prana Pratithsha puja, which will take place on January 22. Photograph: Kind courtesy

Spiritual Travel

With international travellers turning to India for yoga and spirituality, religious destinations like Haridwar, Puri, Amritsar and Varanasi are gaining popularity.

According to OYO's year-end booking data, the coastal city of Puri, Odisha, famous for Shree Jagannath Temple has emerged as one of the most booked spiritual destinations in India followed by Amritsar, Varanasi and Haridwar.

As the much-anticipated Ram Mandir is scheduled to open its doors to visitors in 2024, Ayodhya is another city that is expected to welcome travellers, both from India and abroad.

Top places for spiritual travel: Puri, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Amritsar, Ayodhya and Varanasi.


Vietnam is a visa-friendly destination for Indians to travel in 2024

IMAGE: If you like to explore flea markets and local street food, Vietnam may interest you. Photograph: Kind courtesy Malavika Mohanan/Instagram

Visa-Friendly Destinations

"With Indians preferring shorter holidays and booking closer to travel dates, one of the main factors that will influence India's international travel choices in the new year is the availability of direct flight connections to destinations with easy visa policies," says Krishna Rathi, online travel agency Agoda's country director for India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

"More and more countries are relaxing visa rules or dropping visa requirements for Indian passport holders altogether, making it easier for them to travel abroad," Rathi adds.

Kenya, Iran, Vietnam, the Maldives, Mauritius and Nepal are just some of the countries that have announced visa-free rules for international travellers.

"The accessibility of easy-visa and visa-on-arrival options in these destinations further contributes to the growing appeal for hassle-free international travel," says Daniel D'Souza.

Top visa-friendly destinations: Maldives, Mauritius, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Nepal.


Domestic Travel

Domestic travel can offer diverse experiences

IMAGE: Idyllic locations that are close to your city make for perfect weekend getaways. Photograph: Kind courtesy Janhvi Kapoor/Instagram

With more than 10 long weekends in 2024, Indians are expected to plan shorter breaks and weekend getaways to nearby locations, preferably hill stations, national parks and spiritual places in the home of reducing travel time and exploring their surroundings better.

According to Krishna Rathi, travellers will seek diverse experiences such as adventure, wellness, wildlife, heritage, cuisine and spirituality in these short domestic trips.

After all, India is a haven for travellers of all kinds.

For example, if you decide to visit Nashik, you could begin your day by visiting the Trimbakeshwar temple in the morning and wind up with a wine-tasting experience in the city's famed vineyards.

And who said Munnar is all about tea estates and spice gardens? Ever thought of watching Kalaripayattu at the Kalari Kshetra?

May your travel plans in 2024 be blessed with memories of fun-filled adventures and experiences that take your breath away.

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