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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Delhiites head for exotic locales

Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 12, 2013
First Published: 00:17 IST(12/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:44 IST(12/5/2013)

It is swelter season in the city, the schools are scheduled to close for summer break next week and residents of Delhi-NCR are busy packing their bags to head off to cooler climes.

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While those on modest budgets would be making their way to nearby Shimla or Manali, those with a little more money to spare are looking to visit Thailand, Singapore or Malaysia. The well heeled, however, now are looking at more exotic locales.

Switzerland, UK, France or Italy is now passé for the adventurous and those loaded with cash in Delhi-NCR. This summer, most people are preferring destinations such as Alaska (US), Kenya, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic or Cyprus where the trickle of tourists is yet to become a crowd.

While South Africa has been a popular destination for past many years, Kenya and Ethiopia in East Africa are witnessing a lot of traffic now, apart from Madagascar. “East Africa has become very popular with travelers from Delhi and a lot of them are visiting Kenya this year,” said Subhash Goyal, chairman of STIC Travel group.

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Keyur Joshi, COO of travel portal makemytrip.com said that bookings for East African destinations have seen a boost this year.

Another rather unlikely destination that is attracting tourists is Alaska in US. “Atlantic cruises that take travelers around Alaska are very popular now. For Delhiites, it is the coldest destination they can get to,” said Rajji Rai of the Travel Agents Association of India.

“Cruises are definitely becoming very popular now with people opting for Alaska cruises, followed by Mediterranean cruises and super luxury cruises on the sea,” Goyal said.

“No one wants to go down the beaten tracks anymore. Those who can afford, have already visited UK, Switzerland or at least Thailand and now want to visit less explored areas,” he said.

“Even corporate house that used to book bulk trips usually to Thailand, are now opting for places such as Baku and Almaty in Kazakhstan,” Joshi said.

Travel companies have been quick to understand this trend are now offering packages accordingly. “We offer tailor made itineraries for people with all kind of budgets,” said Rai.

Even when visiting Europe, Delhiites now prefer East European countries such as Romania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary or Spain and Greece, over Switzerland or France, where everyone has been to.


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