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Monday
July, 15

Independence Day weekend drives holidays bookings

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As Independence Day approaches, travellers are leveraging the long weekend for quick getaways. Online travel agencies (OTAs) report a significant uptick.

Airfares have risen by 12 per cent-odd, and hotel occupancy are at a 70-80 per cent high, while room rates are up by 20 per cent.

Independence Day falls on Tuesday this year, sparking a surge in travel bookings and searches. According to Indiver Rastogi, President at Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC Travel, people are extending the number of holidays by taking a “Monday-break”.

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“There is a strong demand for the extended weekend. Key destinations like Goa, Kochi, Jaipur, and Srinagar have emerged. There’s a 30 per cent surge in air bookings compared to other August weekends, and hotel bookings have tripled,” said Prahlad Krishnamurthi, Chief Business Officer of Cleartrip.

Whereas ixigo is noticing an evolving traveller behaviour. “Compared to last year, bookings for this year’s Independence Day period surged by 10-15 per cent. Short-haul destinations like Dubai, Singapore, Maldives, and Bali are trending,” Aloke Bajpai, Group CEO & Co-founder of ixigo.

Hotel Bookings Flourish

“Drivecation” — driving to holiday vacation — is gaining traction, with destinations near metros witnessing an uptick.

Sabina Chopra, COO at Yatra.com, says hotels have seen a surge in bookings across places like hill stations of South India, and Goa (from driveable locations); while culturally-rich destinations like Jaipur and Agra are witnessing increased interest (from nearby cities).

“Average room rates per night have risen to ₹8,500 from ₹7,300 (up 16.5 per cent). Drivecation is a big trend; and Coorg, Madikeri, Tirupati and Goa are among the most preferred destinations for us,” she told businessline.

Zubin Saxena, MD & Area SVP-South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, said double-digit growth in travel demand during extended weekends are now a visible trend. The appeal of respites and luxury getaway is driving bookings, with anticipation for last-minute reservations from nearby metros.

Air Travel

Air bookings have spiked nearly 30 per cent for the period. Players like Yatra and Thomas Cook noted a 10-12 per cent uptick in airfare compared with the previous year. However, EaseMyTrip and ixigo indicate that despite increased travel demand, average fares for many routes booked in advance are lower than the preceding year.

According to Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and Group CEO of MakeMyTrip, the uptick in flight bookings is the highest — up by at least 30 per cent — seven days ahead of the scheduled departure date. “There is a 22 per cent increase in bookings for luxuty and premium hotels. Homestays and villa bookings have also doubled.”





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