PUNE: Soaring temperatures in the city and other parts of the State have left many travel agents high and dry as people are preferring to stay indoors and cancelling their long-weekend travel plans - majority of which were booked months ago.
The long weekend, from April 28 - May 1, consists of Saturday, Sunday, Budha Purnima (Monday) and International Labour’s Day (Tuesday, also celebrated as Maharashtra Day).
However, as expected, bookings for popular hill destinations like Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Satara, etcm for short trips and other spots in the country like Kashmir and Darjeeling for long vacations have increased.
Travel agents feel that while many travellers booked their air tickets and hotels many months ago because of good discount deals available online, they not did do enough research about the destinations and prevailing climatic conditions.
This has affected pre-bookings for tourist places in Konkan belt, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and other parts of the country where temperature and humidity is high.
Vishwas Kelkar, Chairman of Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP), said, “The tempting offers and vouchers on flight or hotel bookings can be the main reason for such a confusion.
“Now, when they notice that the temperature is not suitable to visit, they tend to cancel their bookings, as they cannot go sightseeing in the harsh sun.”
He said the period from April to July is the most unpredictable stretch to plan a vacation, as it includes summer and monsoon - both conditions are not suitable for trips.
HILL STATIONS A HIT
“People book for Nainital, Darjeeling, Himachal, Shimla-Kulu-Manali, Leh-Ladakh, Srinagar, Almora, Kausani, Gangtok, Pelling, Kalimpong, etc, to experience chilled weather and mountains,” Vishwas Kelkar said.
Mangesh Phalle cancelled his trip to Daman and Diu with his family because of the weather conditions. “I booked the trip with my family to Daman three months ago, as there were a number of exciting offers from an airline company in this period. At that time, I was not aware that the temperature in Daman and Diu would rise so much. My aged parents, who were to come with us, would have been prone to heat stroke and dehydration.”