Deepak Talukdar had neither applied for leave at work nor told his wife when he bought air tickets to Goa during a sale in January.
With the year’s first long weekend coming up this month-end, Talukdar, a senior manager with a financial firm, knew that all he needed for a short vacation was one casual leave. “The airfares and the hotel tariff were the cheapest I have seen recently,” said the 34-year-old.
With two holidays (Holi on March 27 and Good Friday on March 29) separated by a day, working professionals are flocking to destinations spanning Bangalore to Bangkok.
As a result air tickets sales and hotel bookings between March 26 and March 31 have increased by up to 31%.
Bookings data from travel portal Cleartrip showed that leisure traffic to foreign destinations such as Dubai, Bangkok and Kathmandu jumped by more than double of domestic travel at 70%. “About 10% people bought these holidays at a cheaper rate owing to advance booking, “ said Noel Swain, executive vice-president, supplier relations, Cleartrip.
Travel experts said Indian holiday habits were changing from two long vacations a year to several small breaks. “This year has few long weekends, hence the rush to tourist destinations,” said Vikram Malhi, country head, Expedia (India), adding that his company witnessed a 30% increase in bookings.