Andheri resident Pankaj Dogra is among the several young professionals who have planned a small vacation starting January 26 (Republic Day). But unlike his other trips, this one does not entail much travelling and will be without bags. The 32-year-old techie will kick off his holiday at the Mike Posner acoustic concert in Mumbai. For the rest of the weekend he has signed up for a nature trail in Goregaon and a culinary workshop.
“The best bit about this holiday is that it will involve no packing and unpacking,” said Dogra.
A small but significant section of holiday bookings for the upcoming long weekend comprises such close-to-home experiences, said travel operators.
Travel portal, Cleartrip, for instance, recorded an 80% spike in bookings for local experiences in 2016.
“We offer about 15,000 specially curated packages across 55 cities in this section, which include experiences such as learning how to golf or taking a wine tour to going to a pump track, said Subramanya Sharma, chief marketing officer, Cleartrip, adding that the company has recorded a surge in advance bookings for the January 26 weekend.
Other travel portals concurred.
“Some people find driving to places on a 3-4 day weekend a little hectic. So instead of venturing out, they are looking for activities within the city, said Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head at travel portal Expedia in India.
He added that this section of travellers go for heritage walks to enjoy the old ruins and history of a city and photo walks to capture they city through their lenses. “We also get queries for activities around art workshops where people are free to draw, paint or sculpt what they desire and wish to express. Also, a few theatres in Delhi screen old movies for movie buffs.
City-based travel agents said that such holidays are always part of the routine sightseeing spread.
“They are just being repackaged and made available online,” said a Colaba-based travel operator, requesting anonymity.
The Cleartrip data added that 73% bookings for in-city tours on the Republic Day weekend were for experiences higher than Rs1,500.