It’s travel time for Bengaluru residents
You can bet that much of the city would have packed their bags and made a beeline to holiday destinations within and outside the country this month-end.
Ayudha Puja, Dasara weekend, and Gandhi Jayanti means a salaried person will get four holidays without taking a day’s leave.
However, this has resulted in tour operators scrambling to attend to requests from last-minute travellers. “Bengalureans seem to be in a mad rush to pack their bags and get out of the city,” said a tour operator.
Syed Haider, who runs a domestic tour operations company in Majestic, said a lot of people are heading to drive-down destinations such as Goa, Kerala, Andaman islands, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Puducherry — places that can be covered leisurely within four days. “Though we provide packages to north India as well, most of the bookings are for the South. Almost all trains, flights, and buses are running full. In Goa, all the hotels have reached 100% occupancy,” he said.
As per data from Cleartrip, Goa, Puducherry, and Visakhapatnam are the top domestic destinations this season. “We are seeing a higher inclination towards advance booking with 31% bookings received over three months in advance. Also, 88% of people seem to prefer short-haul trips of 1-3 days, as suggested by the rush during the Dasara weekend,” said Amit Taneja, Chief Revenue Officer, Cleartrip. Also, more people from south India are travelling this Dasara weekend. Over 30% of travellers are from Bengaluru, Chennai, and Mumbai, said Vishala Rao, destination strategist, Travel Triangle.
For those with a bigger budget, short-haul international destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, and Colombo are popular, said Naveen Victor, visa consultant from Travel Planet.
“Those with a bigger budget are choosing also European destinations. Most of the places are sold out. A lot of enquires and bookings have come for Paris and other destinations in France,” he said.
Hotels rates double
As the holiday season approaches, tickets and hotel rates have gone up. While most hotels are full, those that are available cost double the usual rate. “All major airlines have increased their rates by 5% to 10%. A round-trip that usually costs ₹20,000 is now around ₹32,000. Domestic flights are also expensive during this period,” said Naveen Victor, visa consultant at Travel Planet. Many hotels in Ooty, Kodaikanal, Chikkamagaluru, and Goa, now cost double the usual rate. “Internationally too, hotels have increased the rates given the influx of travellers. Hotels in Paris are charging thrice the normal rate,” he added.
While trains are running full, some special buses — both private and State-owned — have been introduced for the festive season. But again, prices have gone up. KSRTC is operating special buses to destinations such as Goa, Kodaikanal, and Ooty at almost 10% higher than the usual cost. But, most of the seats are already sold out.