HolidayIQ - Top Summer Destinations 2010

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The Indian vacationer seems to be in a mood to explore new destinations. Apart from the ever popular places like Goa, Shimla and Ooty, several hitherto less popular destinations are generating interest among travellers.

Bangalore, India A summer vacation typically meant a few days in the sun soaked Goa, for the Western Indian of course. And for the South Indian, it was a trip to Ooty. Shimla was the place to be for those in the North. But not so any more.

Those places which one would generally not consider as a possible vacation destination a few years ago, for whatever reasons it may have been, are now getting mainstream. "A case in point," says Hari Nair, founder of HolidayIQ "would be Digha in West Bengal or Dandeli in Karnataka. These places which attracted the odd traveller so far have caught the fancy of an increasing number of holiday goers. This could be simply because they are less explored and today's traveller wants to explore new places. Brand building by tourism boards has also helped."

HolidayIQ has been tracking destination popularity and traveller preferences over past several seasons. Going by the content that users visit on HolidayIQ, the discussions that they engage in on HolidayIQ's Q&A Forum and more importantly based on the booking requests that users submit on HolidayIQ, the list of most popular travel destination this summer include Ganpatipule and Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, Coorg in Karnataka, Kodaikanal and Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Munnar in Kerala, Ladakh in J&K, Gangtok in Sikkim, Manali in Himachal Pradesh and Darjeeling in West Bengal.

Apart from this, there is an interesting list of destinations that are fast emerging as popular holiday destinations. While they are not as sought after as the 'most popular destinations', going by the trend, they will soon be among them. Such a list for this summer include Auli in Uttaranchal, Mount Abu in Rajasthan, Arakku-Valley in Andhra Pradesh, Digha in West Bengal, Tarkarli in Maharashtra and Dandeli in Karnataka.

According to HolidayIQ, such changes in travelling pattern can be explained. "There is generally more awareness among people about vacation destinations. Internet and more particularly travel sites like HolidayIQ play a key role in exposing holiday options and possibilities to the traveller" elaborates Hari. "Thanks to the ability of the average traveller to spend higher amounts and the need of today's vacationer for varied options, many new destinations are getting popular. The younger generation wants adventure, they look for exotic places and are ready to travel longer distances." That is why places as far as Ladakh and as remote as Gangtok too are on the tourist circuit these days.

HolidayIQ's analysis has thrown up some surprises with respect to overseas destinations. More tourists seem to be opting for Australia and New Zealand as compared to the traditional vacation spots like UK and USA. Otherwise, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand continue to be among the most popular destinations, perhaps due to proximity and lower budgets. Again, places like Maldives and Mauritius are breaking into the popularity list.

HolidayIQ has a partnered with a carefully selected set of travel partners across the country in order to address the requests of its users. These partners are treated as "destination experts" and chosen for their in-depth understanding of specific destinations their ability to respond to the needs of the users. Post the holiday season HolidayIQ expects to publish its annual Holiday Intelligence Report, which provides useful insights into the travel trends in India in general and actionable information to the players in the travel industry.

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About is owned & operated by Leisure & Lifestyle Information Services Private Limited, based in Bangalore, India. Formerly called India Resorts Survey, HolidayIQ started operations in April 2004, focusing on creating India's first travel community and getting the community to contribute feedback on tourism destinations and hotels across India.

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