Traditionally, the travel industry, whether it’s a hotel near night market in Ratchada or a resort in Sri Lanka, considered the rainy monsoon season as off season, but that’s been changing recently. Thanks discounts and promos on both flight tickets as well as hotels themselves, the travel industry’s dynamics have been changing.
According to travel agencies and tour operators, the so-called off season, which kicks in about the same time as monsoon season, which happens around July onwards, has seen a notable increase in tourist arrival numbers in 2018, with people now travelling throughout most of the year, regardless of weather.
According to MakeMyTrip, India’s largest travel agency, it saw large annual growth in travel to several tourist hotspots in Asia, even as monsoon rolled in. Dubai saw a 35% increase in arrivals, the Maldives saw 50%, Mauritius 20%, and Sri Lanka saw a 30% increase. Within India, the Andaman islands, Goa and Kerala saw a 25% in travel bookings compared to 2017.
Destinations in India and Asia are seeing so many arrivals in the low-season that rates aren’t far off compared to what’s seen in the peak seasons. Udaipur and Goa in particular, saw low-season rates only about 40% less than that of the peak season’s.
This is due to the many discounts and promos being offered by travel agencies, airlines and tour operators. For example, MakeMyTrip offered sales on Goa hotels, alongside offers on IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air Asia which offered a 40% discount on selected hotels if the customers booked from the 11th to the 13th of July. Tour operators added that quite a few high-end hotels are offering big discounts, with India’s in particular offering anywhere from 35%-50%.
According to the Head of Air and Distribution of Cleartrip, Balu Ramachandran, even a hotel near night market in Ratchada feels the effects, with Bali, Bangkok an Colombo registering a 50% year-on-year growth in bookings. Places like Sydney, Melbourne and other beach spots have seen massive spikes in travel, with a year-on-year growth of at least 100% this monsoon season.
According to Travkart co-founder Manheer Singh Sethi, beach monsoon travel is the next trend for global travellers, who look for places to go during the monsoons. Places that would be considered offbeat, with their lowered flight and hotel rates, see good business as a result.