Spiritually motivated tourism is growing in the country, as more and more Indians are going to popular pilgrimages, such as Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Puri in Odisha, according to a report. The report is based on actual hotel searches and bookings on ixigo this summer.
In its report, travel marketplace ixigo said that there has been a month-on-month growth in hotel bookings of 60% for Puri, 48% for Varanasi, 34% for Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and 19% growth for Shirdi in Maharashtra.
“Looking at the spike in hotel bookings, we can say that spiritual travel is now being considered as one of the offbeat travel trends in India,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and Co-founder, ixigo.
The report also showed that Lucknow tops the list with about 13% outbound train searches to these religious cities, followed by Mumbai with 7% and Hyderabad with 6%. Delhi ranked number fourth with 5% train searches to these religious destinations, it added.
Spiritual tourism is one of the biggest untapped markets for domestic travel as close to 60% domestic tourism in India is religion-based, according to Bajpai. “To support this upcoming trend, the government has allocated special budgets for creating the infrastructure around religious places,” he said.
In addition, new projects, circuits and train routes are being established to increase tourism at these pilgrimages, he added.