Maldives popular in India for weekend getaways, Thomas Cook says

Maldives has become a hot destination amongst Indians for weekend getaways, according to Thomas Cook India.

A report, which explores long weekend travel trends of Indians, says that international travel trips from metro cities of India has captured the attention of ad hoc and business travellers to places like Maldives, Singapore and Bali.

The preferred destinations listed by Thomas Cook are:

  1. Residents of capital Delhi are mainly travelling to Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
  2. Bengaluru travellers choose Thailand, Singapore, Bali and Dubai.
  3. Mumbaikars opt for Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong-Macau and Bali.

Thomas Cook’s data indicates highest uptake (55 percent) from the family segment, followed closely by young professionals/ad hoc groups of friends at 40 percent.

The report points out that affordability of airfares has resulted in long weekend travels for India.

“Short haul international destinations are growing in popularity for long weekends, given easy access with under five hours of air travel,” Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head Leisure Travel & MICE at Thomas Cook (India) Limited said.

“Increased connectivity-penetration, attractive airfares and discounts, and entry of low cost carriers have added impetus to the long weekend growth story.”

India is a major emerging source market for the Maldives tourism industry. Official figures show that 66,955 tourists arrived in Maldives from its closest neighbour last year, a 27.9 percent increase from the 52,368 Indian travellers that chose the Maldives in 2015.

That growth is expected to continue this year as well, as the number of Indian tourists that visited the Maldives recorded a 23.6 percent year-on-year increase in the first two months.

Maldives is also amongst the most sought after destinations by celebrity travellers from across the world, including India.

Famous Bollywood stars who have visited the Maldives include Hrithik Roshan, Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra. Famous Bollywood couples such as Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor have also spent their vacation in the Maldives. In addition to Salman Khan, Bollywood couple Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Khan has declared Maldives as their favourite holiday destination.

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