‘80 per cent more women likely to travel this Diwali weekend’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/80-per-cent-more-women-likely-to-travel-this-diwali-weekend-5426306/

‘80 per cent more women likely to travel this Diwali weekend’

Most women travellers are opting to visit domestic destinations like Delhi, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Allahabad, Patna, Mumbai and Nagpur among other cities.

Domestic and international bookings have seen a spike in responses, seven days ahead of the festival. (Representational image)

The Diwali weekend is set to witness an 80 per cent increase in the number of women travelling for vacation according to the data obtained from various travel websites.

Domestic and international bookings have seen a spike in responses, seven days ahead of the festival.

Data procured from ePayLater, a ‘buy now, pay later website’, shows that an increasing number of women travellers, at an average age of 30 years, are keen on solo trips or accompany groups to holiday destinations.

“This year’s Diwali bookings beat those for Holi and Eid by almost 20 per cent. Both these festivals were celebrated over long weekends. Last year, tatkal bookings by ePayLater users saw a 100 per cent jump during the pre-Diwali weekend. While male passenger bookings remain high throughout the festival-week, the corresponding number for women travellers show a significant jump (up to 80 per cent) typically over pre-and-post festival weekends. This can be seen in the way train ticket bookings pick up among our female users,” said Uday Somayajula, co-founder of ePayLater.

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Vile Parle resident Raza Mathur, who is travelling with her friends to Bali in Thailand this Diwali, said, “We booked our flights a month in advance to ensure we get the tickets. A private tour and travel agency is guiding us for the tour. We will be back before Diwali ends.”

Most women travellers are opting to visit domestic destinations like Delhi, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Allahabad, Patna, Mumbai and Nagpur among other cities. Around 75 per cent of these are in the age group between 22-35 years.

“When festivals fall over weekdays, we can see that a majority like to spend up to 4-5 days at home with their families. We saw nearly a two-time increase in daily transactions when bookings for the pre-Diwali weekend opened this year! One week later, we again saw a 150 per cent jump in average daily transactions when bookings opened for the post-Diwali weekend. Compared to other major festivals like Holi, Eid and Christmas, Diwali bookings are always on the up,” Somayajula added.

Travel websites claim that there has been a 36 per cent increase in domestic air fares while international air fares have gone up by 42 per cent.

Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder of Ixigo, said, “We have seen a 14 per cent and 16 per cent spike in flight bookings for New Delhi, from Mumbai and Hyderabad respectively. Kolkata, Bangalore and Goa remain top choices for travellers during Diwali. Apart from the key metros, hill stations have also seen a strong growth in demand from people who want to escape pollution. Dubai, Singapore, Phuket, Colombo, Kathmandu and Bali are some of the most popular international destinations during this period.”

Bajpai added that there has been an increase in inbound travel, specially from the United States and United Kingdom, with people returning home this season. The data also shows that 44 per cent of them are travelling alone, while 26 per cent are travelling with families.

“We witnessed a mix of travellers opting for experiential activities like theme parks, hill stations, coastlines, hot air-balloon safaris, a yacht experience, home dining, mid night cycling and beach camping, to name a few. We have also seen a 20 per cent surge in travellers who want to explore Indian culture during the festive season,” said Heena J Akhtar, co-founder of TripXOXO, said.