City set for year-end travel

City set for year-end travel

Bengalureans are going to beaches and historic and nature sites this season, tour operators say

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner. While there isn’t much time to plan an elaborate vacation, you can surely get that last-minute break. 

Travel agencies say, domestic travel is on the rise this holiday season. Places like Gujarat, Kerala and Shimla are the top picks.

“The demand for short-break packages to South India, particularly Kerala, is on a high,” says Rajiv Naidu, general manager, sales, SOTC Travel. 

International destinations such as Bhutan, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and The Maldives are popular choices. With Dubai Shopping Festival starting on December 26, travel enthusiasts are excited about it too. 

“Short-break packages don’t have a visa challenge. One can plan a trip in 2-3 days and fly off. In places like Bali, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, Indians have visa on arrival, whereas in Sri Lanka, one can register for prior visa approval 24 hours before arrival,” says Rajiv.

Though the demand for domestic destinations was low last year, this year end, many are opting for pilgrimage sites like Shirdi, Rameswaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Navgraha and Panch Mahabhootam temples.

“The travel package ranges between Rs 8,000 and Rs 12,000. It is inclusive of ‘darshan’ assistance, accommodation and transportation, along with priests speaking the local language in most temples,” he adds.     

Countries such as Australia and New Zealand are always in great demand among people who want to witness the New Year celebrations there, points out Indiver Rastogi, president and group head - Global Business Travel - Thomas Cook India Limited.

“Compared to the overall airfare in July, there has been a 20 to 25 per cent hike this holiday season,” he says.

Most Bengalureans love beaches but heritage sites and nature trips also don’t take a back seat. Thus, queries for places like Nandi Hills, Puducherry, Hampi, Mysuru, Kabini, Goa and Kodagu abound.   

Prashant Pitti, executive director, EaseMyTrip, says Puducherry witnesses extravagant Christmas celebrations every year because of its pleasant weather. The other destinations mentioned above are an ideal weekend getaway.

“Looking at the bookings we have received, we have noticed Bengalureans prefer to travel within a 500 km radius of the city to enjoy Christmas and
New Year’s eve. They don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on just travelling,” he says. 
“Also, locally-owned homestays have become popular in recent times because travellers have become environmentally responsible. They are supporting local communities,” adds Prashant. 

According to data by Thomas Cook India, there is also a 20 per cent increase in demand for solo travel among Bengaluru’s new-age travellers. “They have become confident
explorers and are experimental with their holidays,” says Rajeev Kale, president and country head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook India Ltd.

He adds that with an increasing disposable income and a desire for an immersive experiential holiday, solo travellers prefer personalisation and are usually on the lookout for a voyage of self-discovery.

“Unconventional destinations like Spiti, Cherrapunji, Hampi, Gokarna, Bir, Khajuraho, Varkala and Gujarat are gaining popularity this year. Millennials are also opting for unique accommodations like a tree house in Malaysia or a luxury tent in Rajasthan,” he notes. 
The number of people travelling into India also sees a surge during this time of the year.


Airfares goes sky-high in holiday season

A comparison of different flight prices from Bengaluru to Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad,
Chennai and Kolkata shows that a direct flight can cost anywhere between Rs 4,000 to Rs 36,000. 


From December 21 the direct flight prices range between Rs 10,000 to Rs 36,000. However, as of December 28, the prices are slashed down to almost half the rate with the fares ranging between Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000. The price continues to drop and by January 9, the prices are between Rs 4,000 to Rs 7,600. 


The direct flights to Mumbai on December 21 will set you back by anywhere between Rs 10,600 to Rs 22,000. However, the price drops immediately with the airfare as of December 22 ranging between Rs 6,000 to Rs 11,000. The price continues to drop and by January 9, the prices are between Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000. 


Direct flight to the City of Joy on December 21 start from Rs 13,000 and goes up to Rs 24,500. However, the prices drop soon, and as of December 31, the tickets are priced between Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000. The prices remain more of less the same with it being within Rs 4,000 to Rs 8,000 range as of January 9.


The ticket fare for December 21 would set you back by anywhere between Rs 6,000 to Rs 15,000. The prices drop to almost half immediately with the air fair for December 24 listed at Rs 3,4000 to Rs 6,000. The drops further, and by January 9, a flight to Hyderabad would cost you only between
Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000. 


Direct flights on December 21 will cost Rs 4,500 to Rs 13,000. The price continues to drop steadily with the airfare as of December 26 ranging between Rs 3,400 to Rs 6,500. The fare drops almost to half, with it being priced between Rs, 1,700 and Rs 3,000 for January 9.

(Inputs by Krupa Joseph)

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