Short-haul trips with friends and relatives seems to be the agenda of many this long weekend, as travel sees a surge. Road trips, domestic destinations and nearby foreign locales are what travellers are opting for to take a break from work.
As Sanjay Kumar, chief strategy and revenue office, IndiGo, told FE, “People are heading to destinations like Goa, Cochin, Trivandrum, Srinagar and Agra to meet families and relatives due to the festivities and long weekend. Fares have been nominal despite good demand as people chose to book in advance.” A Vistara spokesperson said they have seen an uptick in bookings across their entire network.
Travel companies have dealt with double the normal demand and most hotels in locations close to metros are fully booked. “Our consumer data reveals over 66% respondents prefer domestic locales, while 34% were open to short-haul international options,” said Rajeev Kale, president and country head, holidays, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions), visa – Thomas Cook (India). SOTC Travel, too, has seen 2x surge in demand from customers. “Despite increased airfares, we have seen a significant uptick in demand for travel, with families and groups of friends booking holidays,” said Daniel D’Souza, president and country head, holidays, SOTC Travel. Top destinations for SOTC’s customers are Kashmir, Shimla, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Andaman. “Our consumer data indicates high demand for outdoor and adventure travel with biking trips, hiking, camping and domestic cruises,” added D’Souza.
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Online travel company Yatra observed an uptick in demand and queries for premium accommodation options, mostly 4- and 5-star properties, said Aditya Gupta, senior vice-president, hotels and holidays, Yatra.com.
Similarly, online travel company EaseMyTrip observed high booking trends. “We have 40-50% more bookings on flights and hotels for the August 11-15 weekend. People are opting to utilise this long weekend for relaxing and having fun with their loved ones. The top five locations where EaseMyTrip is experiencing strong bookings include Goa, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Coorg and Kerala, all thanks to the monsoon,” said Rikant Pittie, co-founder of EaseMyTrip.
Meanwhile, hotel occupancy is also at a high this weekend. All the 313 rooms at the Westin Gurgaon are sold out, said Rahul Puri, general manager for The Westin Gurgaon and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, which is also fully booked for the weekend. Kush Kapoor, CEO of Roseate Hotels & Resorts, said for the long weekend, they have registered 20-30% growth in bookings for The Roseate Ganges property. Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra’s general manager Rahul Joshi also shared that bookings were high for the next few days.
Ajay Singh Parihar, marketing head of healthcare OTC at Dabur India, plans to take a road trip to visit his parents who live about 800 km from Delhi. Bengaluru-based Amit Agarwal, founder and CEO of peer-to-peer real estate portal NoBroker is going for a family trekking trip to Kudremukh, a mountain range located in Karnataka. Several auto industry executives from Delhi-NCR are taking road trips to Manali, Shimla, Dharamsala and Mussoorie, while many from Bengaluru and Mumbai are heading to Goa.
With inputs from Reya Mehrotra