On the right foot!

On the right foot!

Travel Plans

On the right foot!

Bangaloreans are looking for the perfect antidote to monotony. With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, and travel deals screaming from all corners, holiday-makers just want to get away from the traffic-choked City.

   On the cards are destinations close and far, and off the beaten track as well. The well-heeled are rooting for exotic locations to ring in the New Year, while the budget traveller wants to do it without breaking the bank. The depreciating rupee has not taken the wanderlust out of the average Bangalorean.

However, tracking the footsteps of Bangaloreans is tough as their travel plans are varied. So where are they striding out? Karan Anand, head-relationships, Cox & Kings Ltd, informs that the “popular travel destinations with international and domestic travellers this season from the City include Turkey, South Africa, Maldives, Mauritius, Gujarat and Andaman Island.

We have seen a 15 to 20 per cent increase in our bookings from Bangalore.” Considering that these are demanding times and with airfares escalating, those who have planned the holidays months in advance are sighing in relief.

Domestic travel certainly does not come cheap. Therefore, those travelling to the
Far-East find it more reasonable than going for some domestic destinations, which comes almost at the same rate. Madhav Pai, director, outbound travel, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, says, “We are seeing a strong interest in short haul international destinations like the Far-East (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, HongKong-Macau), Mauritius, Maldives. Dubai has emerged as a new favourite.”

“Philippines is another attractive new destination that is picking up momentum. This time round, value seems to be a deciding factor. Given that we’ve had a strong growth last year, the fact that we’ve surpassed it this year is positive news,” he informs.

The holiday season is also a revelation of the spending power of Bangaloreans. Some have saved up the whole year to travel during the year-end and are pulling out all stops. Anil Kumar, MD, Acma Travel Tours Pvt Ltd, says, “When it comes to Bangaloreans, international travel is more into the Far-East and South-East Asian countries, which are more affordable and have pleasant weather.

Most of those, who used to head to places like Dubai and other Middle-East destinations, have decided to travel in and around South-East Asia due to sky-rocketing air fares. Europe and North American countries are too cold to visit at this time of the year.”

This country too, with its contrasts, has a lot left to be explored and there is a section which wants to experience that too. Not to forget the usual favourites, like the backwaters of Kerala and Goa, for instance. Deepraj Joshi, associate VP, domestic and sports holidays, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd informs that “the most evergreen favourites continuing to rule the roost are Goa, Andamans, Coorg, Kerala and Pondicherry.”

 Anil Kumar adds, “The popular domestic destinations are Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan etc. Some have opted to do self-drive tours, with their families, across Karnataka and the rest of South India.”  When getting reservations in trains and buses are quite a task, just turning to your backyard (well, almost!) seems the next best choice.

Nothing seems to better than a retreat to the nature. Closer places like Coorg, are popular with the young and the old. Prashant Narayan, senior VP and head-operations, leisure travel (inbound), Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, says, “Coorg remains numero uno for our inbound travellers, this year too.”

Looks like this busy holiday season, the couch potatoes will be few and far between!