Online reservations are exploding! Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar among the main tourist destinations: Devendra Parulekar, SaffronStays


An emerging pattern indicates a sharp increase in bookings for weekdays. (Photo source: SaffronStays)

Planning your summer vacation this year? There are many travel options and leisure destinations available, as Indian travelers are now willing to travel even on weekdays to popular domestic destinations, rather than waiting for long weekends. Since the start of unlocking, a huge 115% jump in the number of new users at SaffronStays shows how the travel and hospitality segment in India is recovering this year.

An emerging pattern indicates a sharp increase in bookings for weekdays.

“Online bookings have exploded,” its founder told Financial Express Online.

According to Devendra Parulekar, Founder of SaffronStays, “Our website traffic grew 98.47% last year, mainly due to the digital transformation in our personal and professional lives. Online reservations have exploded. Most of our inquiries were from Mumbai and Pune as that is where our main market is for 25-55 year olds.

The best leisure destinations in India this summer
“For summers, Alibaug will continue to be a popular choice due to the ease of travel, thanks to the RoRO and villas with pools. Mahabaleshwar, Matheran and Panchagni will be preferred by groups who want to escape the humidity of Mumbai. Lonavala will continue to reign as the preferred destination for tourists for summer vacation, ”said Parulekar.

He further adds: “People want to organize their celebrations with picturesque backdrops. We provide end-to-end services for this. We have already organized weddings, milestone birthdays, etc. When it comes to business, our homes are perfect for day events and overnight stays for small to medium sized teams.

In this conversation with Financial Express Online, the founder of SaffronStays shares valuable information that shows how the unlocking phase provided Indian travelers with much-needed relief to be able to step out of the comforts of their homes for short getaways and family vacations. Technology has also played a central role in enabling hotels to prepare for this demand with contactless offers.

Of the increasing travel bookings online, what factors do you attribute this to?

Many brands, including us, quickly made this work for us and changed the way we do business as well. The reason was that we were understaffed due to the lack of public transport and it was difficult to answer every query.

People find comfort in booking through our contact center because of the insurance offered by the person on the other end of the phone and they are hoping for a better on-call deal. However, we rewarded them with the best price online and turned the tide. On the service front, we made sure it was a hassle-free experience and that people get what they see. Post-booking questions were of course answered by our contact center representatives. However, online reservations have exploded.

Weekly bookings and average length of stay: give us more details. Which cities are most in demand? Are hilly resorts or beach destinations becoming more popular for weekday bookings and how do you think this will play out over the next few months?

To be honest, our homes in Mahabaleshwar are doing just as well as our homes in Alibaug, Lonavala or Kamshet. There is a home for all reasons / seasons and group sizes. In fact, for the Republic Day long weekend, all of our homes in Maharashtra were completely sold.

People are still working from home. Since it is not the high season, we have noticed that there is a demand for weekdays stays that go until the weekend. Add to that, we now have larger groups choosing to celebrate in our homes and businesses opting for weekday stays. Many of us missed our summer vacation last year. This year, it will be time to catch up.

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