PANAJI: This year’s first long weekend, starting with Republic Day on Friday, has generated a strong response from travellers eager to take a short break from work.
According to travel platform Make My Trip, Goa, Jaipur and Udaipur were the leading choices of getaways for travellers in this brief window.
“A higher percentage of the reservations to Jaipur and Udaipur are being made by those residing in the western region rather than north. In the south, Puducherry is seeing a remarkable growth in demand,” said Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group chief executive officer, Make My Trip.
With the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Monday, spiritual tourism is also seeing sustained interest. “Puri stands out as one top choice among religious destinations, and has shown a substantial increase in interest as compared to the previous year. It is followed by Ayodhya, Varanasi, Mathura, and Vrindavan,” Magow added.
Hotels across the country are in turn witnessing a surge in demand.
“This increasing demand has resulted in an average occupancy rate of over 75 per cent and a significant improvement in ADR (average daily rate) as compared to last year,” said Sudeep Jain, managing director, South West Asia, IHG Hotels & Resorts.
There was rising demand for leisure and tourist destinations such as Goa, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi and Agra, Jain said. “Our brands, which include InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express, in these cities are performing exceptionally well. Reservations are on the rise, particularly in regions offering a blend of recreation and ‘bleisure’,” he added.
Airfares on major domestic routes such as Mumbai-Bengaluru, Mumbai-Chennai and Delhi-Srinagar have zoomed up to 53 per cent for the upcoming weekend, as compared to when bookings were made 15 days prior to January 26.
Data shared by travel portal Ixigo shows that the Mumbai-Bengaluru route has seen a 52.8 per cent increase in airfares to Rs 5,731 for tickets booked five days prior to this weekend, compared to Rs 3,751 a fortnight prior to departure.
Similarly, airfares on routes such as Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Ahmedabad and Delhi-Srinagar have recorded 47.7 per cent, 45.78 per cent, and 29 per cent rise respectively during the corresponding period (see table).
However, not all routes are witnessing a surge in airfares in this period. The Delhi-Mumbai route — one of India’s busiest with over 730 weekly flights — has seen airfare decline marginally. According to Ixigo, the average airfare on this route has experienced a 0.9 per cent decline from Rs 5,812 to Rs 5,757.
Likewise, airfares on other metro routes such as Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Chennai and Kolkata-Bengaluru have also recorded a minor decline.
“There is a 1.1x spike in bookings for domestic air travel and a 1.2x spike in bookings for international air travel. There is a 1.8x rise in bookings for domestic hotel travel and 1.9x in bookings for international hotel travel,” said Prahlad Krishnamurthi, chief business officer, Cleartrip.
According to Thomas Cook, people have also shown high interest for easy and quick visa destinations close to India such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Indonesia, Oman, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Bhutan.