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Before the Games, Delhiites skip city in mass exodus

Delhiites are making full use of the Games vacation declared by the government.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2010 23:53 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times

Delhiites are making full use of the Games vacation declared by the government.

Airlines operating from Delhi to domestic and international tourist destination are running packed with bookings till October 8.

Industry sources say, the majority of vacationers are leaving on September 31 and there is a mad rush to book tickets. No tickets are available to destinations such as Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok and tickets for domestic destinations are sold out, too.

“Our flights to Hong Kong and Bangkok from Delhi have traditionally been full around Diwali. This year, due to the Games, the Diwali vacations have been preponed, as a result, we have a healthy demand and flights are filling up fast,” said Rakesh Raicar, marketing and sales manager, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan of Cathay Pacific.

Air India is also cashing-in on the opportunity and has no seats available till October 3.

“We have no seats till October 3 for international destinations. To destinations such as Singapore and Kathmandu, we used to get 125 bookings per flight out of 175 available seats. But we don’t have any tickets for the next week,” said an Air India spokesperson. Also domestic destinations such as Kochi, Bagdogra, Goa, Varansi and Jammu are also crowded.

“There is a good rush and flights are full as airlines are also offering good packages considering the demand. Singapore and Malaysia are favourite destination for Delhiites as the tour can be covered in Rs 50,000,” said Vijay Thakur, president of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

As the schools are closed during the Games (October 3 to 14), residents want to move out. The city is also expected to witness traffic jams during that period.

“Most departures are either on October 1 or 2. The airlines have sensed the opportunity and have offered special fares which are applicable for 70 per cent seats and all are occupied,” Thakur added.

While Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore are popular destinations, travelers with budget constraints are opting for weekend getaways to nearby hill resorts and wildlife sanctuaries.

First Published: Sep 28, 2010 23:51 IST