In the Month of In­de­pen­dence, In­di­ans Take the Free­dom to Travel Ho­tels, travel por­tals re­port 50% jump in book­ings in Aug, as new-age trav­ellers rush to make most of sev­eral long week­ends; Goa, Ra­jasthan, Ker­ala favourite desti­na­tions

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New Delhi: Travel por­tals, ho­tels and tour op­er­a­tors are gear­ing up this Au­gust for what looks like an ex­cit­ing travel month with sev­eral long week­ends coming up around Rakhi, In­de­pen­dence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi and Jan­mash­tami.

Travel por­tals are ex­pect­ing an av­er­age 50% jump in book­ings this month with peo­ple look­ing for quick week­end get­aways by club­bing their leaves with off days.

Flight Shop, the flag­ship re­tail leisure busi­ness of Aus­trali­a­head­quar­tered Flight Cen­tre Travel Group (FCM), has seen a 52% jump in over­all book­ings this Au­gust for air­lines, ho­tel and tour pack­age reser­va­tions, com­pared with last year.

“A 9-day hol­i­day from Au­gust 12 to 20 this year gives a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to the new-age trav­eller to take ad­van­tage of the mid-year break. Book­ings to peren­nial favourites such as Goa, Ra­jasthan, Ker­ala, Ladakh, Delhi and Coorg con­tinue to in­crease,” said Shra­van Gupta, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, leisure busi­ness, FCM Travel So­lu­tions.

Travel por­tal Clear­trip is see­ing a 45% jump in air book­ings for In­de­pen­dance Day, from other week­ends this year, with Goa be­ing the most sought af­ter des­ti­na­tion. This is de­spite air fares be­ing 38% higher. Among the met­ros, Hyderabad reg­is­tered the max­i­mum — 78% — jump in book­ings over other week­ends. “67% of the book­ings made so far were locked more than a month in ad­vance. This is 17% higher than the ad­vance book­ings done for other week­ends this year. De­spite this be­ing an off sea­son, Goa has reg­is­tered the high­est num­ber of air book­ings,” said Balu Ra­machan­dran, head of air and dis-


tri­b­u­tion at Clear­trip. Ritesh Agar­wal, founder of OYO Rooms, said that quar­ter end­ing Septem­ber will eas­ily sur­pass the $100 mil­lion gross book­ings mark achieved by OYO in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter with sig­nif­i­cant book­ings coming in for Au­gust. Kapil Goswamy, CMD of Big Breaks, said the travel in­dus­try is in the mid­dle of a flurry of book­ings as the week­ends ap­proach. “Since the last Eid long week­end, there has not been such an up­surge of in­ter­est in ho­tel and hol­i­day book­ings. Clients have even booked hol­i­days to Aus­tria, France, Myan­mar, Viet­nam and Cam­bo­dia,” he said. Though a bulk of Carl­son Rezi­dor’s port­fo­lio com­prises busi­ness ho­tels, the ho­tel chain which has brands such as Radis­son, Radis­son Blu and Coun­try Inn & Suites is ex­pect­ing over 80% oc­cu­pan­cies in its leisure des­ti­na­tion ho­tels like Udaipur, Jai- pur and Shimla.

“We also ex­pect in­creased oc­cu­pan­cies in re­li­gious desti­na­tions like Ka­tra in Jammu ow­ing to the long week­end,” said Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia at Carl­son Rezi­dor.

Jes­sica Chuang, re­gional mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Ho­ for greater China, South East Asia and In­dia, said Ho­ has seen a spike in searches by In­di­ans for quick get­aways co­in­cid­ing with the long week­ends.

“Most of the en­quiries are from work­ing pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing co-founders of star­tups, vi­cepres­i­dents and depart­ment heads. Travel en­thu­si­asts from cities like Delhi and Mum­bai are head­ing to neigh­bour­ing desti­na­tions like Manali, Ka­sol, Mcleodganj, Lon­avala, Gokarna and Alibag,” said Mukesh Thapa, busi­ness strate­gist at Trav­elTri­an­gle.


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