A holiday in the Konkan has become a ritual for chartered accountant Pratik Deshmukh every Diwali.
For the past three years, the Thane resident has zipped off to exotic beaches with his wife and daughter for a few days. It is mainly because of frequent travellers such them that resorts at driving distance from Mumbai are packed for the winter.
Be it hill stations such as Mahableshwar, Bhandardara, and Matheran or beaches such as Ganpatiphule, Harihareshwar, Tarkali and Bordi, most resorts are packed from Diwali to December.
“Most destinations are packed because frequent travellers book holidays online way in advance,” said Kiran Kurundkar, managing director, MTDC.
Encouraged by high tourist footfalls every year, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has decided to expand some of its resorts. MTDC’s Matheran property, for instance, is being refurbished. The Centre has cleared the project and construction is likely to start in December.
“We are increasing the number of rooms at some places, replacing interiors of old properties and doing some landscaping,” added Kurundkar.
For the second time this year, state tourist destinations have witnessed unprecedented demand. Timely rains drew tourist to Malshej Ghat, Karla and Amboli this year.
“We book the hotel at least six months in advance,” said Deshmukh (34), who will head to Tarkali in about a week.
According to MTDC figures, there is now a slim chance of getting a booking at getaways within the state. MTDC’s analysis of tourist footfalls in the past three years shows that most tourists have visited these destinations at least twice in the period. There has also been a steady increase in first-time travellers, largely people from other states.