New Delhi, February, 2021.
After spending nearly a year adhering to social distancing norms and the pandemic-led lockdown, consumer aspiration is leading to Revenge Travel across short-haul destinations vis-a-vis flights, staycations, and roadtrips. The hospitality industry felt the early signs of this travel during the festive season and the sentiment continues to see a positive movement every long weekend. Observing this trend, OYO Hotels & Homes, the world’s leading hospitality chain witnessed a 20% jump in occupancy over the Valentine’s Day weekend, with upto a 70% rise in online traffic of pre-COVID levels in India, indicating the country’s rising confidence to travel again with guests ranging from SMEs, couples, family and friend groups, as well as solo travellers.
As India celebrated Valentine’s Day, with around 20% demand stemming from Rajasthan in comparison to other leisure destinations, Jaipur continues to be the top choice amongst travellers. Goa and Kochi follow suit.
Here are India’s Top 10 cities of love:
Guests are serious about road trips this season: This weekend, nearly 25% of holiday-makers headed on road trips between the cities of Kochi, Agra, Visakhapatnam, Mysore and Udaipur.
Catching picture-perfect sunsets by the beach, or the sand dunes: Beach destinations across India including Goa, Puri, Pondicherry, and Digha as well as desert destinations, specifically, Jaipur, Jodhpur contributed to nearly 20% of the total Valentine’s Day led demand respectively, followed 12% holiday-makers who preferred spending their weekend surrounded by nature at hill stations such as Ooty, Lonavala, Mussoorie and Coorg. What’s more interesting? The holy cities of Varanasi, Tirupati, Shirdi, Amritsar, and Haridwar weren’t far behind, accounting for around 13% of demand this weekend.
North India’s big on winter’s and Valentine’s: Love was in the air across business cities too, however, more so in North India. Noida, Delhi and Gurgaon ranked as the top mainstream cities to clock in the most bookings. This was followed by Bangalore and Mumbai respectively.
Here’s some more trivia:
- The planned travellers: Amongst all destinations, the maximum bookings for this weekend, between 12th February and 14th February were made for Delhi, Kolkata, Goa
- Afterall, it’s the start of something new: This Valentine’s Day, nearly 25% of guests stayed with OYO for the first time
- Congratulations are in order: It was also a weekend full of ‘I do’s. To be specific, nearly 371 couples tied the knot over the weekend with OYO’s Weddingz.in
- Celebrating Self-love: Nearly 27% of bookings were made by solo travellers who chose to celebrate Valentine’s Day at OYOs across India
- OYO is a relationship with great customer experiences: This weekend, OYO enabled customers with a great app experience with a 99.97% crash-free rate across India
- Safety comes first: 51% opted for ‘Sanitised Before Your Eyes’ OYO properties to ensure sanitised and safe stays
To give you a more in-depth view of how India travelled this Valentine’s Day, here’s a region-wise breakup:
|Regions||Top 5 cities|
|South India||Bangalore Chennai Hyderabad Trivandrum Kochi|
|North India||Delhi Noida Jaipur Gurgaon Dehradun|
|East India||Kolkata Bhubaneswar Lucknow Guwahati Patna|
|West India||Goa Mumbai Pune Nagpur Ahmedabad|
Commenting on the spike in bookings over the weekend, Yatish Jain, Chief Growth Officer, OYO Hotels & Homes, India and South Asia said, “Post-lockdown, we’ve seen an uptick in demand for several weekends, including Gandhi Jayanthi, Diwali, Christmas, New Years and now Valentine’s Day. In the past, every year after the holiday season, there’s a gradual dip in bookings in January, however, this year was different. We anticipated volumes of revenge travel every long weekend, including Valentine’s Day that saw a steady increase in occupancy upto 20% from the previous week. Our overall online traffic was >70% of pre-COVID levels and hit its highest post-COVID. This is a testament to rising consumer confidence to travel again, be it a road trip, or a staycation. OYO is an offering for everyone who’s looking out for quality and affordable accommodation. Over the last few months, we’ve welcomed all types of travellers – including SMEs, couples, family and friend groups, as well as solo travellers. Majority of our users are repeat users. As a brand that stands to celebrate all relationships, we see immense hope for the months to come, especially with a vaccine in sight. Last but not the least, we continue to reassure our guests with our efforts to ensure safe, hygienic, and sanitised experiences across their journey with us.”
Leveraging Valentine’s Day to boost employee morale and delight customers, OYO also launched #OYOLove, an internal campaign to ensure hassle-free and maximum customer delight. The campaign based on a cricket theme, across states and regions resulted in an approximately 4% increase in positive sentiment amongst guests over Valentine’s Day weekend, a 9.5% improvement in delighted guests, and nearly 70% 5-star ratings. To further strengthen relationships with guests, over the weekend, OYOpreneurs greeted nearly 5k guests with chocolates, and beautifully decorated rooms. Recently, OYO’s digital campaign ‘Long-term relationship with OYO’, featuring Neena Gupta and Swanand Kirkire went live. The first film, ‘Same Hotel’ has garnered 3.9 million views so far. Social media posts also showcased that some of OYO’s users chose to catch the IND vs END cricket match over Valentine’s Day.