The upcoming long weekend, with Raksha Bandhan falling on Thursday (August 11) and Independence Day on Monday (August 15), has provided an opportunity to many to take a break from their busy schedule. Looking to make the most of customers’ appetite for an extended getaway, travel companies are offering a range of holiday packages and handsome offers on flight and hotel bookings.
Thomas Cook India and its group company, SOTC Travel, have introduced a holiday range to Indian destinations like Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh, Kerala, Goa and Andaman, and closer-to-home, easy-visa locations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Maldives, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The companies have also announced cruise packages for the extended weekend, apart from air-inclusive tours with Vistara Getaways, Air Arabia Holidays and Emirates Holidays.
Yatra.com is providing discounts of up to 25% across flight and hotel bookings. ixigo is offering discounts of 15% and 10% on domestic flights and international flights, respectively, till August 7.
Under EaseMyTrip’s Travel Carnival Sale, which will go on till August 10, customers can avail a discount of 12% on domestic flights, 10% on international flights and 20% on domestic and international hotel bookings. The company is also offering a 15% concession on bus bookings.
The consumer data of Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel revealed a growing demand for short holidays with 69% of respondents displaying a keen interest in the upcoming Raksha Bandhan-Independence Day extended weekend. Also, 66% of the respondents indicated a preference for domestic locales, while 34% were open to short-haul international options.
“Extended weekends are propelling travel desire and we are seeing the demand increasing twice in comparison to the last month for this upcoming long weekend from our customers pan India,” said Rajeev Kale, president and country head, holidays, MICE (meeting, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions), visa, Thomas Cook (India).
Daniel D’Souza, president and country head, holidays, SOTC Travel, said that with Raksha Bandhan being a school holiday and a optional holiday for companies and Independence day following immediately on Monday, customers are making the best use of this extended weekend.
Yatra.com hotels and holidays senior vice president Aditya Gupta said that the company has witnessed an increase in booking inquiries by around 30-40% for the upcoming weekend break as compared to regular weekends.
ixigo has witnessed a 100% increase in flight search queries for destinations like Cochin and Bengaluru. “Domestic airfares have seen a 10-15% month-on-month decrease with various airlines running sales offers and reduction in ATF prices making this the best time for travellers to book flight tickets and avail additional discounts,” said Aloke Bajpai, Group CEO and co-founder, ixigo.
EaseMyTrip co-founder Rikant Pittie said that people are looking to utilise the 5-day rare long weekend with families and book luxury stays, instead of travelling solo. Most of the company’s bookings have come for destinations like Goa, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Coorg and Kerala.
“We already have 40,000 flight bookings for August 11-15 and are expecting 30-40% more in coming days,” Pittie said.