In times of distress tourists are preferring the temple town of Tirupati to Goa, it seems.

Abhibus, an online bus travel aggregator, has witnessed a 60 per cent rise in bus bookings to Tirupati in December 2020 over December 2019. Compare this with an increase of 10 per cent in the Goa route.

The company said Tirupati has been witnessing about 1,000 average bookings every day from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bengaluru, Anantapur and Kurnool.

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Travel-friendly weather

Since the lockdown was eased in September 2020, Abhibus witnessed a month-on-month increase of 32 per cent and 36 per cent respectively, in October and November, to Tirupati.

“Travellers to Goa have mostly been originating from Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad,” it said.

“The increase in passenger numbers reflects gradual easing in the lockdown restrictions,” it said.

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“We were expecting an inevitable spike during winter as the lockdown has eased and the weather too is travel-friendly,” Rohit Sharma, Chief Operating Officer of Abhibus, said.

Though Tirumala authorities have capped daily darshan at 30,000-35,000 a day as compared to usual pre-Covid average of 90,000 per day, sentiments and faith played a critical role in this recent spike, he said in a statement on Monday.