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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Agoda Releases Its Booking Data Revealing Most Preferred Destinations Among Indians


  • Delhi remained #1, while Mumbai knocked off Goa to the third spot
  • Seven out of the eight union territories made it to the top 100 again this year, Delhi leads this pack, with Puducherry not far behind, both featuring in the top 10. Andaman and Nicobar Islands come in a few spots after at number 11 (up from 17 in 2020)
  • Cities from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Rajasthan, Telangana, Delhi, and West Bengal ranking in the top ten list

Domestic booking data from global digital travel company Agoda shows that four states accounted for half of the top 100 Indian destinations (in order of ranking): Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan (year to date). New Delhi, Goa, and Mumbai remained in the top three, with Mumbai surpassing Goa as the second most popular tourism destination, while Delhi, the national capital, remained in the first place.


Travel took a backseat for a while throughout the last year due to the uncertainties. However, as things began to improve, Indians sought out new experiences and ways to break free from their monotonous lives.

The restrictions allowed Indians to uncover many of the country’s hidden jewels, with vacations closer to home and off-the-beaten-path destinations rising in popularity. Kanyakumari, Puri Shirdi, Alleppey, and Rameswaram all improved by more than 20 places. Lucknow and Shimla, on the other hand, fell 15 and 13 spots in popularity, respectively.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan dominate the top 100  

Sixteen cities in Tamil Nadu made the list, including well-known destinations such as Kanyakumari, Chennai, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Madurai, as well as lesser-known places such as Tiruvanamalai, Tirunelveli, Kumbakonam, and Thanjavur. Kerala and Maharashtra, respectively, have 12 and 9 destinations.

These include all of Kerala’s picturesque highlights, such as Kochi, Munnar, Alleppey, and Kovalam. Maharashtra contributed ten cities to the top 100 list, with Mumbai and Pune in the top ten and famous hill station destinations Mahableshwar and Lonavala climbing in the rankings from 2020.

Near-complete representation from India’s union territories

Last year, Leh experienced the greatest increase in popularity, rising to number 100 from 169 the year before. This year, seven of India’s eight union territories are among the top 100 destinations, with three of them ranking among the top 15. Delhi is in the first place, followed by Puducherry, both of which are in the top ten. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are ranked 11th (compared to 17 in 2020). The remaining union territories in the top 100 are Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, and Daman & Diu. Only Lakshadweep was left out of the top 100.

Mountainous and coastal spots are top destinations

Mountain regions make up eighteen of India’s top 100 destinations. In 2021, Ooty triumphed over Lonavala as the best hills hideaway, with Munnar a close second. Goa remained the country’s number one beach destination, with Puducherry coming in second. Kanyakumari has jumped to number 50, up from number 91 the year before.

In a year riddled with uncertainty, cities known for their religious experiences saw an upswing

While Tirupati remained the top religious destination for Indians in both years, other religious locations such as Puri, Shirdi, Amritsar, Pushkar, and Varanasi improved their rankings this year compared to 2020. In addition, nearly a quarter of the top 100 cities travelled to places having a significant religious significance, with Varanasi and Tirupati ranking first and second, respectively.

Shirdi, in particular, has grown in popularity, rising from 62nd place the previous year to 25th place this year. Puri and Rameswaram, both noted for their beautiful temples, also made the list.

“Our booking data shows that Indians across the country still desire to travel and prioritize safety, which has led to innovative holidays – opting for nature, less touristy destinations often not far from home. They have enjoyed new experiences, and in doing so uncovered hidden gems within their own country. 

With the government’s immense efforts towards the ongoing vaccination drive, Indian travellers are once again packing their suitcases and heading off for weekend breaks and longer road trips.  With so much diversity to explore within our own borders, there is always somewhere yet to visit or to explore again,” said Krishna Rathi, Country Director – India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, Agoda

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