Asia/Kathmandu

Holi trips add colours this season

A spate of excellent deals from hotels and carriers seems to have made Holi extra colourful for online travel agencies (OTAs) with a 15% uptick in domestic and also international bookings during the festival.

Low-Cost flights have been the greatest draw this season. India’s largest OTA, MakeMyTrip, ran promotional Holi offers previously this month in which domestic flight tickets of IndiGo were available from Rs 899 and Air Asia from Rs 1,083.

“Since Holi is on Thursday, the trip enthusiasts are planning to enjoy the festival of colours at some of the most vibrant destinations by taking Friday off. As a result, the weekend has fascinated numerous domestic and international travel bookings with a 15% surge in demand,” claimed Karan Anand, head of relationships at Cox & Kings. At Cox & Kings, Holi enthusiasts are buying tickets to Punjab, West Bengal, Lucknow, Karnataka, Delhi and Mumbai.

“Many travellers, mainly singles, couples and double-income-no-kids families, are setting out for international trips to places like Bhutan, Maldives, Thailand, Dubai and Nepal,” Anand claimed.

TripXOXO, a discovery and booking platform for activities, stated it has seen a 30% uptick in pre-bookings for events such as Rangeen run in Mumbai, Holi camping at Dahanu and the river Bhatsa, and enjoying Holi with locals at Nandagaon — Lord Krishna’s village — and Barsana, where Radha belonged to.

“There is a restricted lot of long weekends in 2019. But, this doesn’t stop the travellers to plan a holiday. In March, now we have obtained a great response for the Holi weekend. Experiential travel is booming,” claimed Heena J Akhtar, co-founder at TripXOXO.

Chains like the Taj have also lined up specific interesting attractions and offers for its palace properties in Rajasthan like the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, and the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur.

“This year, we see that travellers are seeking to experience Holi in its real essence and are travelling to destinations known for enjoying the festival with zeal and spiritual fervour,” claimed Neelu Singh, CEO and director of booking platform Ezeego1.

There is certainly a huge demand for hotels, resorts and transfers in Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Mathura, Vrindavan and interested places around Mumbai on the platform. “Many are heading to short-distance places like Alibaug, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Murud, Kamshet, Kudal, Tarkarli, Gokarna, Goa and Igatpuri for a quick weekend holiday trip before they take their summer vacation,” Singh stated.

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