Independence Day has never meant so much independence from work for some, and choc-a-bloc registers for tourist resorts. This time around, Raksha Bandhan is on a Saturday, August 13, and Independance Day is on Monday, making it a long weekend and therefore a great time to holiday. Nearby getaways and beach hotspots are already sold out, and the phones still won’t stop ringing, say hotel staff and tour operators.
“We have a very good response for the August 13-15 weekend. Our hotels in Agra and Mussoorie are both sold out,” says Taran Deep, head, marketing and communications at the Jaypee group of hotels. Harsh Semwal, GM at Park Plaza Sylverton, Mussoorie, reports a similar figure. “We are 100% sold out on 13-14-15. Those who’ve made the bookings are mostly from Delhi and Punjab,” he says.
Last minute bookings are accounting for better business for some of these places. “We had been getting queries over the last two months for this long weekend. Our properties in Nainital, Corbett and Haridwar are already full. We blocked a few rooms, though, and since these will be given to people who don’t come through travel agents, higher rates will be charged,” says Vibhas Prasad, Director, Leisure Hotels.
While Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh are the hottest holiday spots right now, the ever-popular Goa is also in demand. “The long weekend is a holiday hit. The most popular destinations are Goa, Shimla, Manali, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan. By mid-July, we had a huge number of queries,” says Keyur Joshi, COO and co-founder Make My Trip.
“One of the resorts in Shoghi (14 kms from Shimla) is completely packed. We’re expecting all our camps to be completely booked by the end of this week,” says Sachin Gupta of 36 Chutti.com.Delhiites can’t wait for their escapade. “I’ve already booked a room in Bhimtal. I will be leaving on Rakhi evening. Most of my friends are also planning small breaks around the city during that period,” says Megha Kanojia, 26, freelance writer.