MUMBAI, DHNS: Nearly a dozen long to extra-long weekends in 2019 have enhanced the excitement of the travel and tourism sector.
By tweaking some leaves here and there, a common Indian can enjoy many short breaks during the next year.
In April and August, the holidays are in fact, overlapping over two weekends. The state tourism boards and agencies like the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has already started planning for the coming weekends.
"Over the last few years there has been an increase in the number of tourists in Maharashtra, and accordingly, we are planning," said Dinesh Kamble, Senior Manager of MTDC. Popular destinations like Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Ganpatipule, Harihareshwar, Shirdi will see very good occupancy, he hoped.
Heena Akhtar, co-founder of TripXOXO, said that people nowadays don't just visit places for site-seeing, they travel far and wide to discover adventure, and indulge in activities that add meaning to their journey. For instance, people visit Lonavla for kayaking, Raigad and Nashik for night treks, Karjat for climbing and rapelling, Kolad for water sports activities like rafting etc. "People want to discover adventure in short breaks," she said.
This apart, international destinations like Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Bali, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Dubai continue to be favorite weekend destinations.
Trekker Amit Sawant, the founder of Trekshitij, said that the long weekends over August and September will see a lot of people who love nature, forts, trekking, hiking and adventure, hitting outdoors. "A lot of activities would be there in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik region," he said.
"As far as the India market is concerned, we are looking at destinations like Goa, Manali, Srinagar for short breaks," said Kiran Bhoir, the founder of KMC Holidays Pvt Ltd.
Financial planner Rajesh Bamane said that there are long weekends every year. "The essence of holidays is planning, to be precise, financial planning. For such opportunities, investments in mutual funds is the key rather than parking funds in banks," he said.
People will also head to Prayagraj (Allahabad) for the Kumbh Mela of 2019.