City vacationers get experimental | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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City vacationers get experimental

mumbai Updated: Mar 29, 2010 01:56 IST
Soubhik Mitra

This summer, Ulhasnagar-based wine mart owner, Luv Khemnani, will explore Cape Town driving a Mercedes. The 37-year-old businessman has paid a 10 per cent premium to include the luxury of driving the car during his tailor-made holiday.

“There is an rise in the number of self-drive travellers,” said Neelu Singh, chief operating officer of a travel portal that facilitates luxury add-ons.

A sizeable number of Mumbai’s vacationers are junking the usual package tours to the US and UK and experimenting with customised holidays on cruise liners and adventure destinations such as Africa.

The south Mumbai-based Sawant family has an itinerary that’s far from the usual. In April, the family of three will fly to Rome to catch a few club soccer matches because Arjun Sawant (17) is a fan. Then, they set off for a three-week cruise from Barcelona to London, where friends will join them. “We wanted to try something new,” said lawyer Pankaj Sawant.

“There is a 10 per cent increase in cruise bookings as competition has reduced costs by 10 per cent,” said Thomas Thottathil from Cox & Kings. Indians are most keen on cruises to Europe and Singapore.

Adventure tourism to South Africa and neighbouring nations is on the rise. South Africa Tourism said Indian visitors went up from 44,578 in 2008 to 52,637 in 2009. “Africa is hot this season because of soccer World Cup,” said Ajay Prakash, general secretary, Travel Agents Federation of India.