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Short breaks a hit with domestic tourists

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People look to leisure destinations in Aug 15, Oct 2 weekends

A FILE PHOTO OF TOURISTS AT KOVALAM IN KERALA.
A FILE PHOTO OF TOURISTS AT KOVALAM IN KERALA.

Ashwini Phadnis

`Now all long weekends generate a lot of excitement among holiday seekers and most destinations get packed to capacity'

New Delhi, July 30

The short duration holiday bug has bitten the Indian traveller. With two long weekends coming up in August and October, families across the country are pulling out their passports, checking for the best holiday deals in India and abroad apart from ensuring that the family car is in shape for the outing.

"We are inundated with requests for the long weekends, especially the August 15 weekend since a lot of Indians like to plan their holidays at the last minute. Now all long weekends generate a lot of excitement among holiday seekers and most destinations get packed to capacity," said Mr Amit Saberwal, Vice- President, Development, Makemytrip.com.

Echoing similar sentiments, the General Manager-India, Singapore Airlines, Mr B.K. Ong, General Manager-India, said that the airline was getting several requests from individual passengers and groups wanting to travel during the August 15 and October 2 weekend.

"Passengers mainly want to travel to Singapore, Kula Lumpur, Bali and Bangkok as the trip is more for leisure and relaxation. The fact that these destinations are not very far and provide a mix of entertainment, leisure and recreational facilities, shopping and sightseeing make them favourites," said Mr Ong.

Within the country, Goa and Kerala remain hot favourites among holiday goers although destinations such as Shimla and Coorg that are six-eight hours by car from major metros are also seeing large tourist interest.

Analysts feel that the trend of taking a break outside the house for the long weekend will grow in the future. "There has been a rise of more than 20 per cent year-on-year. The factors that drive this growth include the fact that people no longer get long breaks so they decide to take one long vacation and two short breaks annually. Besides, the availability of more disposable income and demanding work schedules drive people to take a short break whenever possible," said Mr Karan Anand, Director, Cox & Kings.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 31, 2006)
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