The return of revenge travel: As Omicron wanes, citizens eagerly book vacations
With the suspension on regular international flights to and from India to be revoked from February 28 after drop in Omicron cases, citizens have resumed making plans for overseas vacations
PUNE With the suspension on regular international flights to and from India to be revoked from February 28, people have resumed making plans for overseas vacations. Travel and tours companies in the city have been getting ample queries for planning international trips. Regular international flights had been suspended for the past 23 months. Only flights with air bubble agreements between the respective countries remained operational.
“People want to travel and many have already planned their holiday and are waiting for regular international travel to begin. Most people have booked trips after mid-March. More travelling relaxations are expected next month,” said Ashwin Kardekar, director of My Travelogue Holidays Pvt. Ltd.
“With no international travel in the last two years, many people have not checked their passport expiry date due to which they have had to cancel their plans when the travelling agency reminds them of the same,” Kardekar said. As per passport rules, a person needs to have an additional six months’ expiry from the date of return in order to be allowed to travel.
Akhilesh Joshi from Girikand Travels said, “There are many queries for Sri Lanka and Europe and Singapore too is one of the destinations that many people would like to travel to.”
“Along with international travel, many people also like to visit north India during the summer season. Darjeeling, Nainital, Shillong and other parts of the north-east are much sought after destinations. The best part is people are not worried about advance bookings and queries related to Covid-19 norms have reduced and they are now more confident dealing with the Covid-19 virus,” Joshi said.
Meanwhile, trekkers who would like to go outside the country for wildlife camps and trekking have to wait as it is not yet permitted.
Mihir Mulay, director of Mid Earth Outdoors, said, “Trekking and wildlife camps are yet to get permission when we talk about overseas. We trek in Nepal and Bhutan and it also includes camps at Mt Everest. So queries and bookings have already started for batches in May. Queries are also coming for Africa.”
Sagar Paranjape who is travelling to Greece in April, said, “The four of us are fully vaccinated and we will take all necessary precautions but yes, our confidence levels are very high to complete our trip which was not the case during the first wave relaxation.”
Concerns for international travels
Many countries have allowed travelling 210 to 270 days from the date of the final dose of vaccination. The same rule is not applicable in all countries.
Passport rules state that a person needs to have an additional six months’ expiry from the date of return in order to be allowed to travel.
Delay in visa clearance: embassies are busy clearing the backlog.
Destinations in demand: Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Dubai.