Varanasi, Tirupati, Puri are top travel destinations, as spiritual tourism gains favour -OYO

Varanasi, Tirupati, Puri are top travel destinations, as spiritual tourism gains favour -OYO
  • Northern India witnessed the highest demand for spiritual travel followed by South, West and East.
  • The top five cities for spiritual tourism in the country include Varanasi, Tirupati, Puri, Amritsar and Haridwar.
  • 24% Indians took at least one vacation every month in 2022 alone, revealed a Travel Style Network survey.
Northern India has emerged as the most favoured spiritual travel destination followed by Southern, Western and Eastern regions in the country, reveals OYO Cultural Travel 2022 Roundup Report by global hospitality chain OYO.

Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi, which is also one of the oldest cities in the world, emerged as the top religious destination for bookers across India. This was followed by Tirupati, Puri, Amritsar and Haridwar, as per the report.

In the North zone, Varanasi emerged as the most popular destination due to its favored status among Hindus and Buddhists. This was followed by Prayagraj, Amritsar, Haridwar, Katra, and Rishikesh.

The cultural cities of Vijayawada, Mysore, Tirupati, Madurai and Vellore were most favored in South India. In the West zone, Shirdi received the maximum traction from travellers followed by Mahabaleshwar, Nashik, Ujjain, and Pushkar. Goa, which has always been a popular tourist spot, was the most favoured destinations in East India, along with Puri.

While Varanasi may be the most popular destination, Shirdi, Rishikesh, Mathura, Mahabaleshwar and Madurai witnessed the maximum growth in bookings over the past year, reveals the report.


Top 10 spiritual tourism destinations in IndiaGrowth in 2022 VS 2021
Varanasi 56%
Tirupati 233%
Puri 117%
Amritsar 81%
Haridwar 78%
Shirdi 483%
Rishikesh 78%
Mathura 81%
Mahabaleshwar 149%
Madurai 127%
Source: OYO Cultural Travel 2022 Roundup Report

Rising interest in spiritual tourism among GenZ and millennials

Factors like availability of hotels, good connectivity to reach destinations and pent-up demand for travel has supported the desire for spiritual and religious travels, revealed OYO.

OYO also revealed that as per its booking data insights, August received the maximum demand for pilgrimage destinations. And Prayagraj recorded the longest stay by one user - of 61 days. Moreover, spiritual travel is no longer restricted to a particular age group.

“Earlier, travel was bound by summer holidays, winter trips, post-exam trips but now it is way more diverse. With the need for spiritual connection taking priority, millennials and GenZ are setting new trends for the industry. With every passing day, spiritual and self-care travel are catching pace, and the demand is growing,” OYO stated in the report.

An estimated 24% Indians took at least one vacation every month in the year 2022 alone, greater than the global average of 11%, revealed a Travel Style Network survey.

The rising optimism around travel has also led to the company’s monthly revenue per hotel (GBV) per month clocking a 69% increase year-on-year, stated OYO.

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