In­di­ans now take longer to plan short va­ca­tions TWO HOL­I­DAYS IN SEC­OND WEEK OF AUG

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Soub­hik Mi­tra soub­hik.mi­tra@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The new duf­fle bag that will travel with the Vikhroli-based Gup­tas on their four-day Dubai trip start­ing Au­gust 12 be­came a part of their closet two weeks ago. Much like that planned pur­chase, their short hol­i­day was also planned the mo­ment the 2016 hol­i­day cal­en­dar was out in Jan­uary.

With two pub­lic hol­i­days for In­de­pen­dence Day (Au­gust 15) and Rak­sha Band­han (Au­gust 18) in the same week, there is a healthy up­take in short va­ca­tions, and travel op­er­a­tors said most of them were planned well in ad­vance.

“We were done book­ing tick­ets and the stay more than two months ago. Be­ing off-sea­son, the whole pack­age was ex­tremely cheap,” said Ad­vait Gupta, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive with a pharma com­pany.

“Ear­lier, book­ings for ex­tended week­ends would close by one or two weeks be­fore the hol­i­day sea­son, but in the re­cent past, we have seen a shift. Ho­tel rooms are sold out a month or two in ad­vance, as peo­ple have started to plan in ad­vance,” said Man­meet Ah­luwalia, mar­ket­ing head with travel por­tal Ex­pe­dia.

Ah­luwalia said book­ings for travel dur­ing the long week­ends rose by 37%. Other travel com­pa­nies have also no­ticed a sim­i­lar trend Ezeego1 recorded a 25% rise in book­ings com­pared to last year, while Cox and Kings wit­nessed a 20% in­crease .

The choice of des­ti­na­tions var­ied from Mau­ri­tius to Matheran, travel trade ob­servers said.

“Pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for long week­ends are closer home for those with kids. For in­stance, from Mum­bai, it would be Goa, Ma­ha­balesh­war, Matheran or Alibaug. The Dou­ble In­come No Kids (DINKS) group is look­ing at des­ti­na­tions such as Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore and Sri Lanka, which are all time favourites dur­ing this pe­riod,” said Karan Anand, head, re­la­tion­ships, Cox and Kings. He added that cheap air tick­ets and ho­tels fu­elled the unseasonal rush. “We have ob­served do­mes­tic air tick­ets pur­chased dur­ing flash sales have dropped by at least 10% com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.”

PHOTO:SATISH BATE/HT

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