National

Discounts rain for monsoon travellers

People look forward to off-season tours owing to thinner crowds. File Photo

People look forward to off-season tours owing to thinner crowds. File Photo  

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Kerala, Goa, Sikkim and Shillong attract tourists in large numbers.

Driven by huge discounts showered by top hotels and airlines, the monsoon, traditionally considered off-season for travel, is becoming one of the best times for people looking for a “quiet break.”

“The monsoon is considered off-season for travel. This, however, has changed over the past few years. More and more people are now booking accommodation during the rains. In 2015, we saw a 72 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of travellers heading out during the rainy season,” said Yatra.com president Sharat Dhall.

The travel portal has seen an increase from 974 accommodation bookings for the monsoon (July-September) in 2012 to 3,162 in 2015.

While a lot of tourists, mainly young couples without children, senior citizens and solo travellers look forward to the off-peak season because of thinner crowds, the main driving factors now are the deals offered by hotels and airlines. However, with the end of school vacations, the monsoon remains a lean season for family travel.

Ranjeet Oak, chief business officer (holidays) at MakeMyTrip, said: “The reason for people travelling in the off-season, especially the monsoon, is the fantastic deals offered by star hotels, especially resorts and five-star properties to boost occupancy in this season, which is traditionally a lean travel period. With airline flash sales also aiding cheap travel during this period, the monsoon is no longer frowned upon by travellers.”

Travel services provider Thomas Cook, which saw a rise of over 22 per cent in monsoon bookings, added that the hotels too provide flexibility in terms of available inventory and complimentary upgrade of rooms.

While discounts vary from destination to destination, Mr. Dhall, giving an example, said that in Goa, rates during the monsoon could be as low as 40-50 per cent compared with those in December and January (peak season months).

Travel experts say the monsoon is the best time to travel for those looking for relaxing nature-oriented vacations.

“Kerala and Goa are at their best, and the five-star properties and resorts offer very attractive rates. The destinations are good to visit in the season, since the rain is not torrential and make for a relaxed and peaceful holiday. Monsoon travel to Kerala went up by 20 per cent in 2014 over the previous year,” Mr. Oak said.

Quality accommodation

The Northeast (particularly Sikkim, Shillong and Cherrapunji) also attracts many tourists during this season. Besides, Udaipur and Mount Abu in Rajasthan in the North and Kodagu, Ooty, Mysuru and Kodiakanal in the South are in great demand.

Mr. Oak added: “People generally prefer destinations where rain is not non-stop. Also, a lot of people tend to book quality accommodation and enjoy activities within the resort itself — spa, ayurvedic treatments and fine dining.”

Travel portal Cleartrip’s chief revenue officer Amit Taneja said: “Cleartrip saw a 44 per cent growth in monsoon getaways this year as travellers are taking off to lush green escapes and weekend drives. Interestingly, 32 per cent of these bookings were made on mobile phones. Last year, this was 19 per cent.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 9:07:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/discounts-rain-for-monsoon-travellers/article7438972.ece

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