Home Tourism Long weekend: Wanderlust bites Indian travellers; most popular destinations sold out

Long weekend: Wanderlust bites Indian travellers; most popular destinations sold out

Long weekend: Wanderlust bites Indian travellers; most popular destinations sold out

NEW DELHI: The long weekend starting Thursday (in some states) is seeing travel-starved Indians pack their bags with a vengeance post Omicron.
It is not just the weekend getaways from big cities that are reporting full hotels, the well-healed are off to neighbouring countries like the Gulf to make the most of this long break.
The auspicious wedding dates during this time — in which Bollywood superstars Ranbir & Alia are also tying the knot — has added to the demand for travel.
“There is not a seat available on any west-bound flight this weekend. Even the one-stops are sold out. We are seeing absolutely crazy demand and crazier fares this long weekend,” said Travel Agents Federation of India joint secretary Anil Kalsi.
An ITC Hotels spokesperson said: “All leisure destinations including (its hotels in) Jaipur, Agra, Gurgaon and Goa are witnessing high occupancy over the upcoming long weekend. The weekend is also coupled with wedding saya dates hence we see an uptick in tariff in select destinations.”
Delhiites facing the hottest April in years are heading to the hills.
“The beaches and hills have been favourites for long weekends. Our Welcomhotels in Shimla, Chail, Katra, Mussoorie and Pahalgam are doing very well too. Being at a motorable distance , the hills offer quick and easy getaways,” the ITC Hotels spokesperson added.
Indian airlines are expecting to finally breach the 4 lakh daily domestic passenger mark during this period. “We are seeing the highest demand post Omicron. Such a surge was last seen in November 2021 before the third wave. We expect 85% aircraft occupancy this weekend starting Thursday,” said a senior airline official.
Despite high fares thanks to jet fuel prices being at all time highs and and high hotel tariffs due to demand, some sectors are sold out.
Ranjeet Dhar of The Khyber Himalyan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg, said: “We are sold out for the next three months. The recovery that started last November has been very strong.”
The pre-pandemic feature of advance booking is being seen this long weekend after a long time.
“All our hotels in sought after destinations this time of the year like Rishikesh and the hills are sold out. There is nothing available if someone wants to make a plan now,” a senior official of a leading hospitality company said.
Many airlines have started sending messages to passengers to report about three hours earlier for domestic flights.
“I tried booking a hotel room in Haridwar, not a 5 or 3 star, but a property that is near Har Ki Paudi. The asking rate is Rs 15,000!” said a travel industry insider.


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