Currently, 20 flights operate between Mumbai and Goa daily.(REUTERS)
Currently, 20 flights operate between Mumbai and Goa daily.(REUTERS)

Destination Goa: Travel portals record surge in Indians travelling for Christmas and New Year

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON DEC 15, 2020 12:49 AM IST

While Goa saw an influx in domestic travellers after flying restrictions were gradually lifted from various parts of the country, travel to the tourist state had initially dropped drastically after Maharashtra implemented new rules for those seeking entry from its neighbouring state. However, the new testing rules have been unable to deter travellers for too long according to travel portals.

Shubhangi Arora, a Delhi-based media professional paid 15,000 for her return ticket to Goa. “I have booked my trip to Goa for the New Year. I expected my air ticket to cost less than 10,000, but I was surprised to see that despite the government’s cap on airfares, tickets are not as cheap as expected.”

Tickets from Mumbai to Goa for December 24 and return on January 2 cost above 12,000 on most web portals.

Sources from Mumbai airport said that currently, 20 flights operate between Mumbai and Goa daily.

Yatra.com spokesperson said that while being conscious of the safety norms, travellers are going ahead to book their trips.

“Over the years, Goa has been one of the many preferred domestic destinations for customers around Christmas and New Year. Year after year, the demand for this destination has increased, with more people visiting it to spend quality time with their friends and family. This year too, we have witnessed a spike of about 37% in terms of booking inquiries,” said the spokesperson.

EaseMyTrip co-founder Nishant Pitti said that until last month, maximum people were booking their air tickets only three days before the travel date. Now, people are booking flights to Goa in advance for Christmas and New Year. “We are seeing that traffic for Goa has picked up again for Christmas and New Year travel, which is a good sign,” he said.

According to MakeMyTrip, aside from Goa, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Pondicherry, Coorg, Shimla, Manali and Darjeeling are also seeing an increase in searches and bookings for the upcoming winter holiday season.

“Flight bookings on MakeMyTrip indicate a 25% month-on-month growth to domestic leisure destinations, and we hope to see this traction growing during the Christmas and New Year period. As state-wise travel regulations continue to evolve, travellers are willing to wait it out and firm up their bookings within a week or less from the travel date. Currently, hotel bookings for the Christmas and New Year period stand at one-third during the same period last year. However, the recovery in the past few months makes us confident that these numbers will continue to show an upward trend as we close in on the holiday season,” said Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer, MakeMyTrip.

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