SpiceJet crises, fare hikes fail to dampen tourists

SpiceJet crises, fare hikes fail to dampen tourists

High airfares due to the SpiceJet crises and hike in hotel tariff anticipating demand have not deterred Indian tourists from enjoying their Christmas-New Year eves in prominent holiday destinations.

Tour operators, on the contrary, report brisk business and destinations like Kerala teaming with holidaymakers.

“The Christmas weekend (December 26-28) has been almost sold out due to the long weekend. Since 31st December comes on a weekday, rooms are still available, especially in Goa,” Sanyog Tours director Yogesh Lele told Deccan Herald.  "Bookings for Kerala have been totally sold out, while some locations in Rajasthan including Khajuraho and Gwalior have seen around 90 per cent booking."

Cancellation of Russian charters and tariff hikes across the board by hotel owners meant a lot of rooms are still available in Goa, Lele said, adding that tourists are also preferring locations in Maharashtra along the periphery of Mumbai including Alibaug and Konkan.

Goa Tourism, however, remains bullish on the tourist inflow during Christmas-New Year weekend.  "We are expecting around 1.5 million people from till January 3, especially due to the exposition of St Francis Xavier and New Year related activities, including Sunburn and Supersonic festivals," Tourism Goa director Ameya Abhyankar told Deccan Herald.

While admitting that the cancellation of Russian charters has affected the tourist inflow, Abhyankar said it was compensated well by cruise ships arriving from across the country and abroad.

Some in the industry feel that overseas destinations remain primary attraction for Indians celebrating Christmas-New Year. "We are seeing higher percentage of bookings for HongKong, Macau, Thailand, Seychelles and Dubai," TUI India Chief Operating Officer Vishal Sinha said. TUI is one of the world's leading international leisure travel group.

Among Indian locations, people prefer weekend getaways from Delhi including Jaipur, Corbett, Agra and Shimla, Sinha said, adding that the company is witnessing decent intake for their Antartica cruises.

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