Offbeat destinations the new trend
Until a few years ago, the vacation destinations for the middle class families was limited to visits to their native homes. Taking fancy and offbeat destinations was considered to be something which only the upper class families could afford.
Pune: Until a few years ago, the vacation destinations for the middle class families was limited to visits to their native homes. Taking fancy and offbeat destinations was considered to be something which only the upper class families could afford.
With changing times, the middle class too has started touring places which the in the 90s those with humble backgrounds probably just dreamt of. “Along with food, water and shelter, travelling too has become one of the basic needs of humans, even for those coming from humble economic backgrounds,” said Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP) President Nilesh Bhansali.
Places of pilgrimage
According to the TAAP, places of pilgrimage are among the ones preferred the most by the middle class.
“Such places are a huge draw for community-specific tourists. For instance, destinations in Gujarat and Rajasthan were more popular among budget travellers of Jain community, as they get easy access to dharmashalas there. Similarly, in Maharashtra, several people visit and live at places of religious significance like Shegaon and Shirdi. They stay at Bhakta Nivas (devotee abodes) there, and then go on tours of tourist places around the area,” Bhansali said.
This was one of the main reasons why tours like Ashtavinayak, Chardham, etc. are popular among budget travellers.
Advance planning and discounts
One of the main factors that guides tour planning for middle class travel enthusiasts is planning well in advance.
“I have seen many families that book their tours at least seven to eight months in advance, as it assures affordability in everything right from tickets to hotel bookings. Most families, if travelling with lesser number of members, prefer flights over trains, as it saves them a couple of days of leaves. Plus, if booked much prior, the flight tickets can be bought at affordable rates,” the TAAP President added.
He said, “Most of these travellers try to avail as many discounts as possible, and book only during offer periods. The travel expos too are a big hit amongst the middle class families.”