North, South preferred year-end tourist destinations: ASSOCHAM

North and South India were the most preferred tourist destination on year-end, Assocham said in a survey.

Bangalore: The hospitality industry in India is reporting a significant revival in occupancy rates, industry body Assocham said Saturday.

North and South India were the most preferred tourist destination on year-end, Assocham said in a survey.

"....The tourism trade is expecting over 20 lakhs tourists to make voyage to renowned tourist destinations of North India, followed by South- for Christmas & New Year celebrations," it said.

It said the preferred destinations include - Shimla, Kinnaur, Lahaul and districts of Spiti, Chamba, Kangra, Mandi, Nainital, Kullu, Manali, Massourie, Dalhousie, Kufri, Kashmir valley in winters with snowfall being the main attraction.

The survey also pointed out that Rajasthan, as always, will remain favourite- places like Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner will see a mix of domestic and foreign tourists.

In addition, the recently concluded survey states that top destinations in south would include Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Mysore, Puducherry, Rameswaram and Goa, Mahabaleshwar in west.

The survey was conducted in ten major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Thiruvanathpuram and Ahemdabad - by interacting with as many as 4,500 people that includes frequent travellers, professionals, travel trade and the agents booking foreign tourists.

Giving an account about the findings of the survey, ASSOCHAM said- out of 4,500 participants, 68 percent of respondents preferred to visit parts of northern India to enjoy their New Year festivities expecting mild snowfall.

While 28 percent of them preferred to visit coastal regions like Goa, Pudducherry, Kerala, Thiruvananthpuram, Rameswaram; 10 percent desired to visit hill stations like Udhagamandalam, Mahabaleshwar, it added.

Stating that travel trade is showing signs of revival due to improvement in bookings, the survey, quoting hoteliers in the region, said, "....Witnessing improvement in bookings both from domestic and overseas travelers."

Commenting on the survey ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat said, "There is steady increase in hotel occupancy mostly in North India and other traditional tourist destinations.

"Festive season and pick up in economy should be given credit for improvement in hotel occupancy and the hotels are cashing in on buoyant festive".

The survey indicated that the impact was already being seen by way of 35-40 percent increase in tariffs for hotel accommodations, as food & beverage costs are also running up by nearly 30-35 percent from the bottom witnessed last year.

Highlighting that India's tourist industry is booming due to a rush of foreign tourists and increased travel by Indians to domestic destinations, Rawat said, "With the great potential available and the development initiatives taken by the government, Indian inbound tourism has shown a substantial growth in 2012-13."

The report was able to target corporate employees from 18 broad sectors, with maximum share contributed by employees from IT/ITeS sector (17 percent). Around 55 percent of the respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 percent), 40-49 years (16 percent), 50-59 years (2 percent) and 60-69 years (approx. 1 percent).