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AHEAD of the long weekend starting this Thursday, there is a 21 per cent increase in travel bookings. According to websites, more than 70 per cent bookings have been made two weeks before Ganesh Chaturthi on Thursday.
Balu Ramachandran, Head, Air and Distribution, Cleartrip said, “This Ganesh Chaturthi, we are seeing a 21 per cent year on year increase in bookings. Goa, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Kochi and Guwahati are the top leisure destinations that people have booked for. Among International locations, Bangkok, Dubai, Manila and Singapore are the top destinations. Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad are some of the bigger cities that people are travelling to.”
He said that the advance booking pattern is stronger than the previous year with over 77 per cent bookings so far being made over two weeks before Ganesh Chaturthi. Many tourists are hiring cars with or without chauffeurs to explore trips.
Travellers are also exploring Kamshet, Kolad, Srivardhan, Diveagar and Harihareshwar for quick getaways from Mumbai.
For early planners,Kerala, Andaman, Rajasthan, Goa and Himachal are the flavours of the season, while Darjeeling has emerged as the most popular domestic destination. Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand have emerged as favourite international destinations.
Demand for visits to Egypt, Azerbaijan, Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) are also on the rise, leading travel booking sites observed.
“More than 70 per cent of self-drive inventory in Mumbai has already been sold out and going by the trend, we are expecting to be fully sold out soon. Interestingly, the chauffeur-driven service has seen a surge in demand as well with van category being the most popular. In addition, our newly-launched one-way service from Mumbai to Pune and vice-versa, has also picked up drastically in this festive season, as we are giving travellers the option to book a one-way rental at up to 75 per cent off on the total rental cost,” a statement from Avis group of travel said.
Many travel websites and airlines have offered festive discounts on tickets and rooms to attract customers.