Summer vacations are a day or two away, but a long weekend before that has meant the holiday season has already begun. Continuous holidays starting Thursday has ensured almost full occupancy in hotels and resorts in some destinations. Most travel and tour operators said certain destinations were running at full capacity with bookings until Sunday. Some others are also mentioning that travellers are not shying away from taking quick trips abroad.
Abdul Aijaz from a city-based travel agency said Mysuru and Kodagu were popular among tourists who were working in Bengaluru but were from outside the State, whereas those from Bengaluru are preferring to travel north — to Shimla and Manali — extending their trip to five days. International destinations such as Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia were popular for short-term getaways, he said.
Karan Anand, Head - Relationships, Cox and Kings, said staycations were popular among the Bengaluru crowd. Cooler destinations such as Srinagar, Manali and Dharamshala in the north, and Ooty, Kodaikanal and Kodagu in the south, were also sought after.
M. Ravi, member of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, said certain destinations such as Kodagu, Wayanad, Ooty, Madhumalai, Chickmagalur and Yercaud were going full, while Bekal in Kerala was emerging as the new favourite. In fact, the hot weather was not deterring people from heading to Puducherry and Mahabalipuram. A short drive was the key, he said, adding that the same logic applied to international destinations such as Thailand, Dubai, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, which were doing very well.
“People no longer wait for long vacations. They drive down whenever they find even a day because they are stressed and need a break. In fact, there could be a dip in bookings during summer vacations because of elections, as in many places, people stay back to cast their vote,” he said.
Sandeep Keshav Thamankar, another Bengaluru-based tour operator, said cost-wise too, this long weekend was favourable to travellers as season rates, which are usually higher, are applicable from April 1. Weather plays a key role, he added, explaining, “Ooty is almost sold out. Kodagu is hot nowadays, so it is 60% full. Response to Kerala from Bengaluru has been so and so because it is an overnight journey.”