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THERE HAS been a 20 per cent increase in winter travel bookings in Mumbai compared to last year, according to data from popular travel booking websites. Most bookings are for the Christmas and Republic Day weekend.
Travellers have made the most of the long weekend starting December 22 (Friday) till December 25. A lot of travellers are headed to the Dubai Shopping Festival, Hong Kong winter festival and Christmas at Bondi beach (Australia), data shows.
“This year, demand for international holidays has surged up to 18 per cent and for domestic holidays it has gone up by 20 per cent…,” said Karan Anand, Head (Relationships), Cox and Kings.
“Destinations with exciting yearend and Christmas events are preferred the most such as Europe, the Dubai Shopping Festival, Hong Kong winter fest and Christmas at Bondi beach, among others. Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Dresden, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Helsinki, Tallinn and Manchester are very popular,” said Anand.
The demand for adventure holidays has surged by 10 per cent compared to last year. “Hornbill Festival Motorcycling Trip, Mumbai to Goa coastal cycling tour, diving trips to Sri Lanka’s east coast and ice cycling expeditions in Mongolia are getting the maximum response,” Anand said.
Budget travel continues to remain a top priority among tourists. “There has been a substantial increase in travellers from Mumbai opting for budget hotels and exclusive experience. We expect bookings for packages, standalone hotels and even flights to see a surge around Christmas and New Year’s weekend. In fact, a number of leisure destinations around the city are likely to see all hotel rooms sold out over the Christmas weekend,” said Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com.
“Those looking for a getaway on a smaller budget are opting for nearby places such as Lonavala, Lavasa, Matheran and Mahabaleshwar, among others. With international holidays becoming more pocket-friendly than before, those who have more time on hand are planning trips to destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder, ixigo.
Data reveals 30 per cent of the winter bookings this year were made over 60 days in advance. Attractive offers by airlines including Jet Airways and IndiGo too have contributed to the surge in demand.
Aditya Ghosh, president and whole-time director, IndiGo, said, “In line with our endeavour to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers, we have introduced 18 additional flights as part of the winter schedule. We are looking at providing affordable fares on these new routes for 6E travellers.”
“Vistara announced a sale to encourage travellers to plan their holidays in advance. The sale fares were available from October 11, 2017 to October 13, 2017 for travel between October 26, 2017 and March 24, 2018. The discounted tickets were made available for all sectors that Vistara flies,” an official statement from the airline said.