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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Travel goodies bloom as long Holi weekend looms

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 17, 2013
First Published: 21:01 IST(17/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:03 IST(17/3/2013)

There are more reasons to celebrate Holi than colours this year. A five-day-long weekend getaway is in the offing and travellers are lapping up the opportunity like never before.

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Holi on Wednesday (March 27), followed by Good Friday and the weekend leaves travellers with only Thursday as a working day. A Thursday off, and it’s a rare five-day break.

Online travel firms, which have come up with special packages for the Holi weekend, say demand for both domestic and short-haul global destinations has shot up.

“There are options for every budget, starting with weekend getaway destinations like Corbett and Shimla at R2,000 to luxury packages at Ananda running into lakhs,” said Sharat Dhall, president (online), yatra.com. “The Holi-Good Friday weekend translates into a five-night vacation, which is pretty long by any standard. Bookings for this period are turning out to be the highest for the January-March quarter.”

Yatra, he said, is offering all-inclusive packages to destinations like Goa, Kerala and Thailand, including hotel accommodation and return flight tickets. “On a year-on-year basis, our holiday business is up by more than 100%,” said Dhall.

“The demand has shot up and is going to further spike as most Indians plan their holidays at the last minute. Hotel tariffs and airfares have also gone up,” said Keyur Joshi, co-founder makemytrip.com. The most sought after domestic destination, Joshi said, was Kashmir.

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