With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, which is also one of the busiest tourist seasons, last-minute vacation planners are finding it difficult to put their travel plans together.
That is because airfares and hotel room rents have gone through the roof and even those willing to pay extra are running out of luck.
Delhi-Goa air tickets have doubled
For Goa, arguably the most sought-after Christmas and New Year holiday destination, the rate of flight tickets have nearly doubled or even tripled from the normal for the next two weeks.
For Christmas week, a Delhi-Goa flight ticket is costing over Rs 11,000, while it is Rs 12,000-14,000 for New Year weekend.
Flying from Chennai to Goa on Christmas will cost nearly three times the normal rate. Other cities, too, have seen a similar increase in air ticket fares to Goa for the next couple of weeks.
Hotel rooms, resorts become expensive
Even if one manages to get a flight ticket, hunting for a hotel room in the beach state is the next challenge.
Unlike in the previous years, which COVID-19 marred, the Christmas and New Year season this time is looking great for the hospitality industry in Goa.
Many resorts and hotel chains have been booked to capacity for the next few weeks.
Flights to Kerala for Christmas and New Year
Another highly sought-after Christmas and New Year holiday destination, Kerala, is also seeing a similar rush.
A direct flight ticket from New Delhi to Kochi this week can cost anywhere between Rs 15,000-20,000, nearly double the standard fare.
Hotels and resorts in Kerala, including tourist hotspots Munnar, Wayanad and Alappuzha, are flooded with bookings.
Tourist destinations set for Christmas and New Year
Other popular destinations for this time of the year, including Shimla, Karjat, Lonavala, Vizag, Dharamshala, Udaipur, Manali and Gir, are witnessing good demand.
“The year-end festive season looks very positive and this year appears to be one of the best years so far for the hospitality sector,” Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd Managing Director, Vijay Dewan, told PTI in an e-mailed response.
Best booking in years
He further said, “All our hotels are gearing up for sold out spaces along with high occupancy in rooms. This year we have lined up some great events during Christmas and New Year’s which the guests missed out during the last 2 years due to the pandemic.”
“If you really look at it this year, this Christmas and New Year will be the first proper Christmas-New Year after 2020…if I were to look at December occupancy, in some of our resorts we have no space for even a single room available in December because people have all booked up,” Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd (MHRIL) Managing Director and CEO Kavinder Singh, said.
“Based on advanced bookings for the upcoming holiday season between December 25-31, we are witnessing a 44 per cent rise in booking demand, led by leisure cities such as Goa, Hyderabad, Puri, Manali and Kolkata. Business travel is also showing strong signs of revival,” an OYO spokesperson said.
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