Beat­ing sum­mer heat: 25% rise in trav­ellers opt­ing for cooler spots

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

MUM­BAI: As sum­mer hol­i­days for school and col­lege stu­dents are around the cor­ner, travel book­ings are on the rise. Ac­cord­ing to travel por­tals, air­line of­fers have spiked ad­vance book­ing. Por­tals claimed they wit­nessed a 25% hike in sum­mer book­ings so far and will in­crease as the hol­i­day sea­son nears.

Book­ing trends re­vealed trav­ellers are tar­get­ing cooler des­ti­na­tions to beat the sum­mer heat. Por­tals claimed cus­tomers are pre-book­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as river raft­ing, scuba div­ing, snorkelling, boat rides, kayak­ing bike tours and lake treks.

Heena J Akhtar, co-founder of TRIPXOXO, said, “Trav­ellers are book­ing river raft­ing in Ko­lad, scuba div­ing and snorkelling at Tarkarli, three-lake trek in Manali, ba­nana boat ride in Goa, bike tours in Spiti, kayak­ing at Kalote lake and Har­i­haresh­war Beach hol­i­day.”

Thomas Cook In­dia said it has ob­served a growth of 25% in for­ward­ing book­ing trends for do­mes­tic travel as com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

Ra­jeev Kale, pres­i­dent and Leisure Travel and MICE at Thomas Cook In­dia said queries and book­ings for Sum­mer 2019 have been a healthy mix of short and long hauls, with easy ac­cess/sim­ple visa regimes (evisa/visa on ar­rival), cre­at­ing added im­pe­tus so far.

Karan Anand, head of re­la­tion­ships and sup­plier man­age­ment at Cox & Kings In­dia, said the com­pany en­cour­ages trav­ellers to book early as they will get the best deals. He added, “Sum­mer is a very busy travel pe­riod and we ex­pect the de­mand to go up quite sig­nif­i­cantly. The des­ti­na­tions that are in de­mand dur­ing sum­mer are Europe, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and ex­otic des­ti­na­tions such as Turkey, South Africa and Kenya.”

Por­tals said book­ings for East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries such as Czech Repub­lic, Aus­tria, Slo­vakia, Hun­gary, Croa­tia and Slove­nia will pick up and be more pre­ferred for sum­mer travel. In­dus­try ex­perts said that in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, Ut­tarak­hand, Hi­machal Pradesh, Kash­mir, Ooty, the Nil­giris and hill sta­tions of Ker­ala at­tract a large num­ber of tourists.

Daniel D’souza, head of sales, In­dia, NRI mar­kets and e-com­merce at SOTC, “The In­dian trav­eller is value-driven. The new trend is the in­no­va­tive ‘dy­namic pack­aged hol­i­day’ to at­tract more cost-con­scious and va­ri­ety-lov­ing cus­tomers,” he added.

“While DIY (do it your­self) trav­ellers are in­creas­ing, the trend of book­ing through travel com­pa­nies con­tin­ues,” said, Kapil Goswamy, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Big­

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