Ahmedabad: Airfares to key destinations such as Goa, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Dehradun and Bengaluru have skyrocketed about ten days before New Years Eve. The day before falling Friday, it will be a long weekend and people planned their break based on their favorite water spots and party destinations. Despite concerns about the Omicron variant of Covid-19, plans for long weekend getaways are intact and, as a result, airfares have increased by 120% to some destinations.
Anuj Pathak, president of the Gujarat Tour Operators and Travel Agents Association (TAG), said: “Bookings are good this time around despite concerns about the Omicron variant.” He added: “Those looking for passable destinations are heading to Udaipur, Mount Abu, Kumbhalgarh and Jodhpur.” He went on to say, “While many other travelers are booking tickets to Goa, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and even Jammu and Kashmir, thanks to which air fares have increased.”
In fact, some travelers have chosen international destinations. “Places like Dubai and the Maldives are favorites and people are booking a three night and four day package to these destinations,” said Manish Sharma, President of the Federation of Travel Agents of India (TAFI), Gujarat. “Travelers are more confident this time around and pay Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh per person.”
With more professionals working from home and the long weekends in perfect sync, people across town have chosen to travel. Air fares have climbed 50 to 120% depending on the destination, even when booked ten days in advance.
“With the dynamic pricing policy in place and the limited connectivity to some destinations, air fares have increased,” Pathak said.
In fact, even hotel rates have gone up in all of these destinations. Ankit Bajaj, secretary of TAFI Gujarat, said: “People want to travel as much as they could due to the Covid-19 outbreak last year. Bajaj added, “With increased demand, hotel rates at popular resorts as well as four and five star properties have increased by at least 40%. ”
Industry sources have said that road trips are increasingly preferred for travel. “Road trips are generally a hit for New Year’s getaways. However, this year there is a shortage of cars,” said Virendra Shah, president of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Gujarat. “With the wedding season starting and the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit approaching, car availability is a concern and taxi fares have increased. ”