As the new year kicks off, digital travel platform Agoda, has revealed the top five emerging destinations in India in its “New Horizons List”. The year-on-year search data has highlighted the destinations that have marked growth in traveller interest. Ahmedabad led the way, followed by Kodaikanal, Mahabaleshwar, Ooty, and Kochi. These cities reflect a growing interest among Indians to experience local culture and heritage and are increasingly inclined towards picturesque locales.
Ahmedabad, the financial capital of Gujarat, has claimed the top spot with a notable 44% increase in searches year-on-year. It is home to the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue and also boasts of a rich cultural and culinary heritage. Ahmedabad has grown in popularity among Indian travellers, and this year it further grew owing to the city being the host of a major sports event, the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
Picturesque nature destinations dominate the New Horizons list, with Kodaikanal experiencing a 35% increase and hill stations Mahabaleshwar and Ooty, rising by 22% and 21% respectively. Kodaikanal’s unspoiled natural beauty and serene ambience has experienced a notable uptick in interest and Mahabaleshwar and Ooty are also capturing attention for their distinct attractions, ranging from Mahabaleshwar’s sweeping hill vistas to Ooty’s captivating colonial-era ambiance and tea plantations.
At number five on the New Horizons List is Kochi, a vibrant port city in Kerala, which witnessed a 19% increase in searches. The state has been a hotspot for Indians, and Kochi is where history and modernity seamlessly converge. It remains a favourite among travellers for its remarkable Dutch and Portuguese architecture, food and spice markets, and traditional cultural experiences.
Krishna Rathi, Country Director India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives at Agoda said, “2023 has proven to be a great year for travel in India. Agoda’s Year-on-Year search data highlighted growth across domestic, inbound, and outbound travel. The New Horizons list features quite a few hill stations and some bustling cities with a mix of food, culture, and interesting activities. As the new year begins, we are excited to see the trends that will shape the preferences of Indian travellers.”