Many prefer domestic tours over abroad visits during this Diwali vacations - Hindustan Times
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Many prefer domestic tours over abroad visits during this Diwali vacations

Oct 04, 2023 06:04 AM IST

In a break from the norm, Punekars are increasingly opting for domestic rather than foreign tours this Diwali season, according to tour operators

In a break from the norm, Punekars are increasingly opting for domestic rather than foreign tours this Diwali season, according to tour operators. What’s more, places such as Kerala, Rajasthan and the Northeast are at the top of their list of favoured destinations.

Places such as Kerala, Rajasthan and the Northeast are at the top of their list of favoured destinations. (HT PHOTO)
Places such as Kerala, Rajasthan and the Northeast are at the top of their list of favoured destinations. (HT PHOTO)

Kerala has seen a surge in domestic tourist footfalls and gained traction as a major, all-season experiential destination, thanks to its innovative offerings such as the ‘Champions Boat League’ or CBL, a boat race modelled on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Mandar Tayade, a resident of Kharadi, says, “I plan to visit Kerala after hearing about my friend’s CBL experience.”

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The CBL is a visual treat with snake boats (Chundan Vallam in Malayali), powered by scores of rowers in each boat, racing across the backwaters of ‘God’s Own Country’. Sajesh N, assistant tourist information officer, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, says, “Rising up to the demands and tastes of present-day tourists, Kerala has launched quite a few attractive products, besides widening the scope of existing ones and projecting the distinct features of the state. This year, we are looking for the next-level fillip by attracting more domestic tourists to experience our novel tourism services.” According to Sajesh, recent trends indicate that Kerala has become a wedding destination of sorts with its serene, palm-fringed backwaters; pristine beaches; and verdant hill stations with sprawling tea/coffee plantations. Individual tour planners say that they are getting inquiries for destinations that marry comfort and adventure.

Apart from Kerala, Rajasthan and the Northeast are drawing hordes of tourists. “This year, I have the maximum inquiries and bookings for Rajasthan tours. Factors like availability of time, comfort taken into consideration by tourists before planning their vacation,” says Snehal Angholkar, a professional tour planner.

Amit Deshpande of Balaji Tour Operators, says, “Many have opted for the Northeast this year during Diwali as the climate is good during that period. The trend shows that tourists are preferring domestic over foreign destinations.” HTC

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