Which are the top five destinations (in India and abroad) that travellers want to visit this year? What are the average deals that you are offering in these destinations?
|Deepa Misra Harris|
Indians are now becoming more adventurous and are exploring offbeat destinations. At the Taj, we have witnessed an increase in people’s interest to visit destinations like Nadesar Palace Varanasi; Vivanta by Taj-Dal View, Srinagar; Vivanta by Taj Bekal; Vivanta by Taj Coorg; Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad and Taj Safaris in Madhya Pradesh. These are destinations that have not been explored before.
We are constantly in the mode of self-discovery for eg Vivanta by Taj has a brand experience called Motifs that bring it to life. In Coorg, our naturalist takes travellers for the tour of the rainforests. Other experiences like local Coorg cuisine and a ritualistic spa treatment in Jiva bring out the local ethos of the destinations. Similarly, we have Wazwan dining and shikara rides as part of the immersive destination experiences in Kashmir. People’s keenness to discover the lesser-known India is on the rise. Amongst international destinations, hotels like Taj Exotica Maldives; Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef; Taj Cape Town 51, Buckingham Gate;The Pierre and Campton Place in San Francisco are becoming very popular among Indians. In order to encourage travellers to travel in style, indulge a little more and spend quality time with their families, Taj recently came up with ‘Room for More’ packages that includes extended stays, suite offerings and a chance to earn hotel credits. This has been designed keeping in mind both business and leisure travellers.
Which are the new unexplored destinations that travellers today opting for?
Taj has traditionally been instrumental in putting destinations like Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala on the world map. Recently, we have seen an overwhelming response to our hotels in unique and unexplored destinations like Vivanta by Taj Bekal, Vivanta by Taj Coorg, Vivanta by Taj- Dal View Srinagar and Hyderabad with the opening of the Falaknuma Palace. The prices start from packages for two nights starting at Rs 28,000.
Is there any difference in people’s choice this year than the previous year?
Taj continues to play the role of a catalyst in creating tourism opportunities in India by opening hotels in unique and exotic destinations. This influences travellers to choose from a wider range of hotels and resorts across the length and breadth of the country. Once again as the Taj creates destination experiences, which are rooted in the cultural fabric of the location, travellers are inspired to choose new destinations.
With the Indian government showcasing India as one of the top destinations of the world, do you see people more inclined to visit Indian cities than going abroad?
India and the Indian hospitality sector have always been synonymous with our rich cultural heritage and the concept of atithi devo bhava, which makes India attractive as a tourist destination. The World Travel and Tourism Council has named India one of the fastest growing tourism industries for the next 10 to 15 years. Aligned with India’s aspiration of receiving 25 million tourists by 2015, Taj Group continues to strive hard to create and develop new destinations and world class hotels for travellers. We will definitely see more tourists visiting India in the future.