Northeast beckons tourists; footfalls to grow 12% in 2019
Improved infrastructure and air connectivity are drawing a large number of tourists to India's Northeast and looking at the current traction, footfalls in the picturesque region are expected to grow by 10-12% in 2019, industry experts said. "The bookings for Northeast have gone up by 18% as compared to the same period (April-June) last year," Cox & Kings' Head (Relationships), Karan Anand, said.
Northeast region mostly preferred by people aged between 25-50 years
Northeast region is mostly preferred by holiday-makers aged between 25-50 years and hailing from metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, besides Guwahati and nearby areas who flock there to explore its wildlife, rivers, and culture, Anand said. However, the second or third-time travelers embark on their journey to understand the lifestyle and also the culture and the cuisine of the region, he added.
MakeMyTrip witnessed over 100% growth in Northeast regions
Echoing a similar view, a MakeMyTrip spokesperson said, "Apart from this, more number of hotels have been opening up in this region, making it easier for travelers to find accommodations in places which were earlier not very connected." "At MakeMyTrip, we have seen over 100% growth in the number of travelers opting for Northeast destinations since we started offering holiday packages," he added.
Growth witnessed by different travel destinations
MakeMyTrip spokesperson said, "The sector, including Darjeeling, is growing by 35% for summer travel. The MMT platform has witnessed 30% growth in travel bookings to Gangtok, 120% each to Shillong and Meghalaya." Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head of Brand Expedia in India, said for a very long period that the northeastern part of the country had been largely unexplored due to poor connectivity and infrastructure.
Adventure seekers enjoy treks, kayaking, angling, and rafting
Ahluwalia said besides young adults, including college pass outs and first-time earners to families, there has been a rise in queries from all segments, including solo women travelers. "Adventure seekers enjoy the place for its challenging treks, kayaking, angling, and rafting," Ahluwalia added. Residents from Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad and Jaipur top the list of people wanting to travel to North-east, he said.
Ziro Music Festival, Hornbill Festival too attracted people
"Activities like the Ziro Music Festival and Hornbill Festival, too, have started to see a lot of traction. Attendance at these events from young millennials over the past 2-3 years has helped in making Northeast a popular destination among tourists," Ahluwalia added.