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There has been a 50 per cent increase in travellers looking to exploring international destinations this long weekend, travel booking websites reveal. Discounts offered by airlines and increase in spending capacity are cited as reasons for the rise in bookings.
According to travel websites, many short-haul destinations including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Thailand, Singapore, Bali and Sri Lanka remain top picks for the long weekend. “Short haul international destinations are growing in popularity given easy access with increased connectivity-penetration, attractive airfares/ discounts and entry of low cost carriers have added impetus to the long weekend growth story in destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau , Sri Lanka, Ras Al Khaimah,” said Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head-Leisure Travel & M.I.C.E at Thomas Cook (India) limited.
This week, major airlines including Air India, Go Air and Jet Airways offered discounts on trips to popular tourist destinations. In its ‘Beat the Budget’ offer, Air Asia has offered discounts on flights to Goa, Chennai and Hyderabad among other destinations, which is valid for travel till August 31, 2018.
Popular domestic destinations include Vrindavan, Goa, Manali, Thailand, Singapore and Andamans, according to Travkart, a travel website. Balu Ramachandran, head of air and distribution at Cleartrip, said, “Many travellers have planned their short-haul international excursion to south-east Asian destinations like Colombo, Denpasar, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. They have seen more than 57 per cent growth compared to last Holi. Last minute domestic fares have reduced by almost 18 per cent, which could be one of the reasons why last-minute bookings compared to last year have increased considerably this Holi weekend.”
According to Ezeego1, the Holi weekend would boost travel to Dubai, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. “Indians travelling abroad are spending 4.4 times more than domestic travellers with average spends increasing by 10 per cent for domestic and 16 per cent for international travel,” said Mohit Gupta, COO, MakeMyTrip.
According to FCM travel solutions, travellers are also heading to Radha Krishna Temple, Spanish Fork, Utah, in the US where Holi celebrations have been arranged by religious organisation ISKCON. There had been a 40 per cent increase in search for flights and hotels by travellers for the weekend, Ixigo said.
Hotels have offered about a 20 per cent off-season discount to encourage travel. “This Holi weekend we see a new trend, where the majority of travellers are double income no kids, solo travellers and senior citizens,” added Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox and Kings.