While domestic travellers are preferring Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Amarnth, booking for Dubai, Maldives and European countries have grown manifolds.
Travel industry executives told TOI, “Affordable rates, less paper work and ease of travel restrictions by foreign countries has led to an increase in the number of bookings this year.”
Rahul Khare, owner of a prominent travel agency, said “There has been a surge in bookings for domestic and international destinations as people are planning to enjoy their holidays in groups.”
Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Amarnath and hilly regions are in demand on the domestic circuit, while those willing to go abroad are opting for Dubai, Maldives, and Europe, he added.While Dubai and Male topped in bookings for May and June, UK, France, and Switzerland have been leading choices of international tourists. We are still getting queries for other European countries, said a travel agent.
“International travel restrictions have eased after two years, and since most people are fully vaccinated against Covid, people are planning leisure and business trips to foreign countries,” revealed Khare, adding that majority of travellers have started booking tickets 20 to 30 days ahead of the date of travel. Earlier, Thailand, Maldives and Dubai were the preferred international destinations, but this year, we have more queries for European countries, he added. Travel industry witnessed 60-70% fall in international trips in the past two years due to the pandemic and travel restrictions. Besides, the heatwave has also made people plan trips to hill stations and have done their advance bookings for Himachal, Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
A travel agency owner on Leader Road said many locals got bookings for domestic travel in May and June with Kashmir and Uttarakhand being the preferred destinations and it’s difficult now to get hotels till July. The curbs on international flights and Covid fears have given a boost to domestic tourism. Since board exams of Class X and XII will be over in June, many families made prior bookings. Dr. Anupam Dwivedi of Civil Lines said, “With the mercury rising in plains, we have planned a trip to Kashmir in the coming week.”