New Year, New Destinations

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With an increasing preference for investing in experiences rather than tangible products, travel by Indians is set to soar even higher this year

Have money? Buy goods! The mantra for the longest time, this has seen a change over the past few years. Of course, tangible products still see a huge uptake, but more and more Indians seek to spend their money on creating experiences and memories, and among the chief ways to do this is travel. Be it within our shores or without, a number of tourist attractions are climbing the popularity charts, fast!

Long weekends are always desired – what could be better than official holidays falling on either (or both) sides of a weekend? And, increasingly, Indians are opting for short-haul destinations outside India for a quick, memorable getaway during a long weekend. Vietnam is among the most popular here, with its selling points including the convenience of visa-on-arrival, economical eateries, and affordable exchange rates. Bali, of course, remains a favourite – its stunning beaches and fabulous weather are tourist magnets as it were; for those who need more convincing, there is a host of adventure activities (such as water sports and cycling holidays) to participate in.

For long-haul travel, Europe is a perennial favourite, preferred by honeymooners and solo travellers alike. In the year gone by, Switzerland France and Austria topped the list, with tobogganing, hiking, paragliding, and skiing being among the activities that tourists look forward to engage in. The mesmerising Aurora Borealis, viewed from the Scandinavian countries, attracts many visitors too.

India itself is among the most popular travel destinations both for its own residents as well as for visitors from outside our borders. The backwaters of Kochi; the coffee beans, wildlife and scenic surroundings of Coorg; and a host of related activities such as jeep safaris, trekking and camps under the stars – all pull in large numbers of tourists. Goa, of course, needs no promotion, as its beaches are a perpetual draw for Indian and international visitors. Rounding off the list is Rajasthan, the land of royalty, glorious architecture and vibrant culture. Among the newer attractions in this state are the multitude of music festivals, which are another reason to drop anchor here. So, pack your bags, and set off!

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