18 long weekends this year may give a boost to vacations

Passengers have opted for domestic getaways as well as international vacations.

Passengers have opted for domestic getaways as well as international vacations.  

Families, millennials from tier-II and III cities take the lead

With 2020 offering 18 long weekends, the highest in the last five years, Indians have started planning vacations, with families, couples, and millennials from Tier II and III cities taking the lead.

In 2019, there were 11 long weekends, the least in the last five years. Travellers living with locals and picking up skills from them during their stay are major trends. Aurangabad in Maharashtra, the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Karnataka, Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, Dholavira and Lothal in Gujarat, Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, and Hampi in Karnataka are among the researched destinations.

“These are destinations known for educational tours,” Reji Philip, a south-Mumbai travel operator, said of the trend that is being increasingly discovered by many travellers.

Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and CEO, ixigo, said an increase in the capacity for the winter schedule had resulted in a 20% decline in domestic airfares.

“This has encouraged families, couples and millennials, especially from Tier II and III cities, to prefer short domestic getaways to international vacations this year. We have witnessed a 15-20% jump in bookings for domestic destinations this year for the just concluded December travel,” he said.

Significant rise

Ixigo said data showed a 15-20% jump in year-on-year advance bookings for such domestic destinations as Goa, Udhagamandalam, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Mysore and Agra.

On the international front, there was a 10-12% jump in bookings for such destinations as Singapore, Colombo, Bangkok, Dubai, Mauritius and Malaysia.

Costa Cruises, an Italian cruising company, part of the Carnival Corporation & plc, is offering Indians a chance to visit some 250 separate destinations with over 130 different itineraries and 60 embarkation ports. The company said it was eyeing the growing number of Indians looking for affordable cruise holidays, and are docking at major ports such as Mumbai, Goa and Kochi with new, India specific itineraries.

Nalini Gupta, managing director, Lotus Aero Enterprises, representative of Costa Cruises in India, said, “India is one of the only markets with a varied groups of customers, from corporate and wedding groups to honeymooners and senior citizens. With a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure, a cruise holiday provides a perfect getaway.”

Ms. Gupta said an analysis showed that travellers are realising the benefits of cruising, and cruise holidays are on the to-do list of many holidaygoers: they either add the cruise to their land holiday or many just take a fly-plus-cruise vacation. “The long weekends in the upcoming year will help them plan their holidays in advance,” she said.

Looking at passenger demand, IndiGo on Monday announced that Agra would be the 63rd domestic destination when it connects the city of the Taj Mahal to Bengaluru. William Boulter, chief commercial officer, IndiGo, said, “These flights will enable us to offer point-to-point connectivity from a city which houses one of the wonders of the world, witnesses an exceptional tourist footfall, and hence a high demand for connectivity. Operating exclusively on the Agra-Bengaluru route under the government’s UDAN scheme, IndiGo flights will promote trade and tourism in the region through increased mobility.”

An Indigo spokesperson said these flights were designed to cater for business and leisure travellers who are on the lookout for new and affordable flying options.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 7:36:27 AM |

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