Pune: With the extended weekend setting in from Friday on the occasion of Diwali, travel enthusiasts from Pune are gearing up to spend the festival away from home and the October heat of the city in the calm surroundings of nature.
As the Diwali holidays for many working professionals in the city span from October 14 to October 22, they have planned well in advance for the
Bookings for domestic as well as international vacations have seen a significant rise this year, as compared to last year.
According to the Chairman of Pune Chapter of Travel Agents Association of India, Krishna Gopalan, most travel agents in the city have been on their toes for the last month and a half as bookings for Diwali vacations are going on in full swing. “We are seeing bookings not only for short domestic trips but also international trips,” he said.
“People are booking for a duration of about four to 10 nights, with five nights being the average. While many persons plan to celebrate Diwali at home and then head for a short tour, many have decided to skip the celebrations altogether and spend the festival travelling,” he explained. Gopalan added that the average spending per person for domestic trips is anywhere between Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 while that for international trips starts at about Rs 85,000 to Rs one lakh. “People are also looking at comfort and quicker travels and thus most have opted to book flights instead of travelling by road or rail,” he explained.
Speaking about the popular destinations this Diwali, Gopalan said, “In domestic destinations, people are preferring Kerala, certain areas of North East, Shimla-Kullu-Manali, Delhi-Agra-Jaipur and other such packages. Meanwhile, for international destinations, we are seeing a lot of demand for Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Dubai while there have also been some bookings for Europe.”
Shedding light at a national level, Executive Director, Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia, Shravan Gupta, said, “At Flight Shop, we have seen a 53 per cent uptake in the overall bookings vis-a-vis last year in airlines, hotels and holiday packages, this Diwali weekend. Travel enthusiasts from across the country are heading to the mountains to escape the October heat and enjoy the festive break with their loved ones. Bookings to destinations like Coorg and Kodaikanal in the South, Gulmarg and Dalhousie in the North and Gangtok and Ziro in the East have seen an impressive rise.”