New Year’s Day is almost two months away but wise Delhiites are already making plans in order to avoid the last-minute madness for bookings and reservations. While Goa remains popular, it is not the only destination people are opting for. “Goa is always hot,” says Mohit Gupta, chief marketing officer of travel website, makemytrip.com. That’s why Imran Khan, a correspondence student from IGNOU, is heading there. “I’ll sunbathe, swim, walk, jog, drink. There’ll be beach parties, so sex is not ruled out.”
For many among the city’s young, salaried population, destinations like Bali and Phuket are becoming popular. Sumantha Roy, a Noida-based BPO professional, has booked tickets to Bangkok and Bali. Why isn’t he taking the well-travelled route to Goa, which is surely less expensive? “The whole of Delhi would be there,” says Roy. “I’ll party away the new year’s night in some big Bangkok nightclub and will unwind the next day in the secluded and untouched beaches of Bali. I’ve saved through the entire year to afford this holiday,” he adds.
“Southeast Asia is doing very well,” admits Gupta. “Air tickets are less pricey as compared to Western Europe or USA and shopping arcades, casinos, beaches are all at the same place.”
“I’m off to Cyprus,” says Manika Dhama, a wealth manager. “It has beaches and they say that Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was born there.” Cyprus, an island nation in the Mediterranean, could as well be this season’s debutante. “It’s emerging as a new favourite,” says Thomas C Thottathil of Cox & Kings India Ltd. “Cyprus is just six hours from Delhi and the closest European destination, with 19 Indian restaurants to boast of.”
Then there are destinations for which you need no money. “I partied away the last two new year’s eves at Delhi farmhouses,” says Malvika Sharma, an IT consultant. “This December 31, I’ll stay home to celebrate it with my parents.”