Deepavali break sees citizens trade bustling Bengaluru for holiday spots

Customers shopping on the eve of Deepavali at Malleswaram on Saturday.

Customers shopping on the eve of Deepavali at Malleswaram on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Some four million Bengalureans are holidaying in various locations — within Karnataka, across the country, and overseas — during this Deepavali season, as per tours and travel trade estimates. The four million include those who have travelled home to be with their families for the festivities.

Closest getaways such as Ooty, Coonoor, Kabini, Kodaikanal, Coorg, Yercaud, Mysuru, Wayanad, Sakleshpur, Bandipur, Masinagudi, Chikkamagaluru, Mudigere, Puducherry, Mahabalipuram, Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Munnar and Thekkady have been sold out. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Manali, Shimla and Goa were the other hot picks, while on the international front destinations in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand did well this season, stakeholders said.

P.K Mohankumar, hospitality expert and a former top executive with the Taj Group of Hotels, said people in Bengaluru love to get away during holidays for a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city. Domestic travel has been growing leaps and bounds, with a large number of people now capable of spending on quality hospitality and leisure.

According to Amit Damani, co-founder of Vista Rooms, a luxury villa rental management firm, the trend among techies is that they want to take frequent short-haul holidays in addition to a couple of long leisure holidays every year. “Some 40% of our guests are repeat clients. On an average, a guest would not want to spend beyond ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 a day because nowadays they holiday more number of days and multiple times a year, compared to say few days and once a year earlier.”

There is a huge growth in demand for leisure in the city, but the growth of leisure infrastructure, hotel capacity and quality have not kept pace, said industry experts. “As a result, there is a sudden spurt in demand during holiday seasons. Every single hotel, resort and homestay jacks up prices to the hilt. They take up maximum number of people and eventually most guest return home with bad experiences of scramble for space and food, noisy, mela-kind of atmosphere, and overall discomfort,” said Mr. Mohankumar.

Panneer Selvam who runs a destination advisory firm, Access Destinations, said, “Most of the destinations that are a drive of four or five hours were sold out some 15 days ago. There were last-minute calls for rooms, but we could not provide them. During the holiday season, there is this sudden rush for booking and this puts hotel properties under a lot of pressure. As a result, quality suffers.”

Bengaluru is a great tourist market and the State government should put in place a master plan to develop several quality destinations within short driving distances. Karnataka has the potential to create half a dozen Goas, Mr. Mohankumar said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:37:21 AM |

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