Travel industry sees big surge in bookings in festive season

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With the festive season round the corner, there has been a major spike in travel and bookings. The bookings, travel companies said, have grown manifold as compared to the same period last year.

Thomas Cook India said it had registered a 36% growth in festive travel this season.

“The travel hungry Indian consumer has been quick to leverage festivals and the upcoming long weekend on account of festive Diwali offers, an apt opportunity to escape from the hectic pace of daily work life and indulge in a short well-deserved getaway, to rejuvenate and recharge,” the company said.

“Spurred by a burgeoning economy that has vastly improved their spending power coupled with declining airfares, Indians have emerged as the newest globetrotters. Leveraging the festive season and the Indian consumer’s strong hunger for vacations, our teams at Thomas Cook India had designed special packages at exciting price points to enable Indian travellers celebrate their favourite festival at a dream destinations- with their loved ones,” said Rajeev D. Kale, President & Chief Operating Officer – MICE, Domestic & Sports Tourism, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings said the Dusshera-Muharram weekend was the best time to travel for people seeking affordable holiday. “The weekend falls just before the onset of the peak inbound season hence it is a good time to get some really good deals. The airfares have also gone down by 15%, making the holidays all the more cheaper.

Cox and Kings said it had witnessed a surge in holiday bookings for this period and have designed special packages to cater to this market. “We observe 25% year on year growth in travel on long weekends,” Anand said.

“People prefer travelling to nearby destinations from Mumbai such as Lonavala, Khandala and Mahabaleshwar. From Delhi, they travel to Manali, Agra, Jaipur and Jodhpur. From Bangalore, it is to Ooty, and Kanyakumari and from Chennai it is Pondicherry.”

Thomas Cook India said last minute bookers had been the key drivers. “About 60% of our customers have transacted between a 15-45 days window with merely 15% travelers having booked their holidays more than 45 days prior to departure. Short hauls continue to be the flavor of the season, with Thailand leading followed closely by Sri Lanka, Singapore, Dubai, Maldives, Hong Kong-Macau,” it said.

According to Neelu Singh, CEO & Director, Ezeego1, “We have seen a 30% increase in bookings over last year this season. The flight tickets increase around November-December and tickets are booked in advance for Diwali vacation. This is the best time to take a short vacation before the peak season begins and one can save around 10-12% of the budget. With airfare, hotels and car rentals are also reasonable. For the upcoming weekend, 30- 40% of our bookings are for short haul international destinations like Thailand, Dubai, Bhutan, Srilanka, Mauritius, Malaysia and Vietnam, rest of the bookings dominated by domestic travel. Andaman has emerged as the new favourite with maximum bookings, followed by Sikkim, Goa, Kerala and Rajasthan for a quiet and rejuvenating trip.”

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