There has been a 20 per cent rise in travel bookings ahead of Navratri this year, show records of travel websites. This, even after the tourists, who are planning trips back home or to other destinations, being largely affected by the spike in airfares. While several are looking to visit Bangalore, Delhi and Gujarat for Dussehra holidays, many are planning to take short trips of three to four days.
Karan Anand, Head (Relationships), Cox & Kings said, “The upcoming Dussehra break presents a good opportunity to take up short trips. Bookings for the weekend are soaring up to 20 per cent, with travellers showing significant interest in domestic destinations.”
“With this being festival time, people mainly travel to witness the celebrations in different parts of the country. While many visit Mysore for the Dussehra celebrations at Mysore Palace, others visit New Delhi for Ramlila shows and Mumbai and Gujarat for dandiya and garba nights. Kolkata is a major tourist attraction for Durga Puja, Sindur Khela and the dhaak and dhanuchi competitions,” he added.
According to travel website Yatra, a spike in airfares this time, when compared to last year, has pinched the pockets of tourists. For example, while the lowest fare of a one-way trip to Delhi from Mumbai was Rs 1,165 in October 2017, it is now Rs 2,559. There has been a spike in airfares for November also.
“We at Yatra.com are witnessing a mix of travellers visiting their hometowns and those opting various off-beat destinations for short trips. This trend has been noticed despite a hike in the fares on popular routes such as Mumbai-Bangalore, Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata,” said Sharat Dhall, COO, Yatra.com. “The steep spike in the fares when compared to last year can be attributed to various reasons like increase in passenger load factor and surge in fuel charges among others. These announcements ahead of the peak travel season will affect the fare chart adversely. Moreover, with rupee depreciating at this pace, the outbound tourism is likely to be impacted,” he added.