After putting vacations on hold for nearly a week because of volcanic ash in the European skies, city holidaymakers are giving the continent a miss this season.
Many are either opting for run-of-the-mill South East Asian destinations such as Singapore and Thailand or heading to Manali and Ladakh.
Travel agents feel that travellers, despite assurances, are being cautious.
“My friends in London claim that another volcanic eruption might disrupt travel again,” said Mayur Asija, a Khar-based businessman who had booked a Swiss holiday. On Monday, the family of four left for a vacation to Bangkok and Phuket, their second at the same destination in less than 10 months.
A group of more than 20 travellers on a Switzerland-Paris tour made a last-minute cancellation. “A few of them went to Istanbul and the rest to Singapore,” said Kishen Biyani of Arc Travels, adding that some vacationers are going for domestic destinations such as Ladakh.
“South East Asia now seems safer and has several flight options,” said Marzban Antia, a travel agent at Marine Lines.
Rajesh Rateria, chairman (western region), Travel Agents Association of India, said: “It is difficult to ascertain the number of last-minute cancellations but it is a significant number.”
Industry sources said some people were forced to settle for ordinary holidays because big tour operators failed to get air tickets and hotel bookings in European cities after the crisis ended last week.