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Winter is already here. Vacation time is nearing. It’s the time to take a break from monotonous life. Once again beaches and deserts across the country seem to be the popular destinations for travelers during this season. Beach destinations, according to experts, continue to be most sought after among international travellers, while domestic travellers are heading to beaches and deserts.

Destinations in north east India are also registering significant growth this year. Goa, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Manali top the list this Christmas and New Year holiday, while Shillong, Belgaum, Gokarna and Darjeeling remain the top growing domestic destinations. In 2018, domestic tours had increased by 15 per cent during winter.

Beach destinations including the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Goa and Andaman are leading, followed by Rajasthan and snow destinations such as Manali, Sonmarg, Patnitop, Kufri and Auli, he said.

“The demand for domestic snow destinations has been surging since the past few years mainly for the fun activities such as skiing, snowball fight, snow tubing and snowmobile safaris,” said an executive of a travel agency.

This year, many travellers from India are also flying off for international destinations like New York, Finland, Austria, Budapest, Norway and Canada during Christmas and New Year. Europe remains the most sought after destination this winter followed by Dubai, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, according to the report.

Records at hospitality firms suggest that there has been an increase in bookings at beach destinations too such as Goa, Puri, Pondicherry, Port-Blair, Alappuzha and Digha.

Interestingly, colder destinations are witnessing an increasing trend of couples as well as family vacationers when compared to beach destinations.

Technology is playing a huge role allowing all travellers, solo, couples as well as families and friends, to make and change plans in a jiffy with the help of their phones. Like in 2018, solo travellers are the most significant contributors to bookings during this holiday season.

In north India, Delhi, Jaipur, Shimla and Udaipur remain top destinations, whereas in south India, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pondicherry, Kochi, Mysore, Ooty have been top cities in terms of bookings.