Bangalore and Mysore are among the preferred destinations

Bangalore and Mysore are among the preferred destinations in the South for travellers planning holidays around Christmas and New Year even as the costs for food and accommodation are expected to go up considerably, a recently-concluded survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India has found.

The other favourite places for tourists in the year-end holiday season included Puducherry, Goa, Ooty and Rameshwaram, the survey said, adding that the “resort regions” in Goa, Pondicherry, the backwaters of Kerala, and Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh might witness a rush with tour operators offering top-up freebies. Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram too could attract travellers, the survey, carried out in 10 cities across India, said.

The preference for southern destinations follows that of popular hill stations in the North.

However, the budget plans for those travelling to these places could take a hit as hotel tariffs have increased by 35 per cent to 40 per cent while the cost for food and beverages have gone up by 30 per cent to 35 per cent over the corresponding period last year, the survey pointed out. While the domestic tourists’ movement is expected to start in the second half of December, the movement of foreign tourists is expected to begin in November-end, it added.

Some of the popular pilgrimage destinations in Karnataka are also expected to get visitors during the season as many families prefer going on a pilgrimage for the New Year holiday. Besides, Tirupati, Guruvayur and Mantralaya in neighbouring States, Dharmasthala, Kukke Subramanya, Kollur, Sringeri and Horanadu in Karnataka are among the preferred destinations for travellers in the South.

The ever-popular hill destinations such as Shimla, Kinnaur, Lahaul, Spiti, Chamba, Kangra, Mandi, Nainital, Kullu, Manali, Massourie, Dalhousie, Kufri and Kashmir Valley continue to hold their sway over tourists with snowfall being an added attraction in November/ December. With a revival in occupancy rates, over 20 lakh tourists are expected to visit to these hill destinations in the North, the report said.

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