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Travel shoes are back for Christmas and New Years, Goa steals the march | India News

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Colleagues announce they are absent with ‘do not disturb’ messages, friends post photos on Instagram of playing in the snow, families head out on morning safaris and broadcast their road trips live. The travel problem is back before Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as many head out of town to hilltop resorts and sun-drenched beaches to recharge, unwind from work, and finish a long and exhausting year in the highest.
Many popular destinations, as well as some of the lesser known ones, have seen a surge in flight and hotel bookings for the holiday season. According to ITC Hotels COO, Anil Chadha, Manesar, Agra, Jaipur and Mussoorie are among the chain’s best performing properties that are experiencing large numbers of visitors. Sudeep Jain, MD, Southwest Asia, IHG, also says that more inquiries are coming in and there is an increase in bookings at its hotels in Goa, Chennai, Agra and Jaipur.
Sandeep Sahani, president of the Uttarakhand Hotel Association, tells TOI that several reservations have been received from people from nearby places, such as Delhi and Chandigarh. “Several hotels offer discounts and host theme parties and cake mixing ceremonies to celebrate Christmas just like in previous years,” he says.
While Dubai and the Maldives, the only international tourist destinations open right now, are experiencing an unprecedented rush, most Indians are satiating their wanderlust by heading to national attractions. While Goa is witnessing peak season as usual, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are also seeing impressive tourist arrivals.
Since most people travel within the country, and that too on shorter road trips, the experiences properties offer have become more important, says Silki Sehgal, VP (corporate communication), The Oberoi. These include, for example, a private poolside dinner under the stars, a sunset at an observation tower or a picnic, and a nature walk in the mountains at your properties.
Exotic properties and national parks also seem to be in high demand. “Whether it is the Thar trail, exploring villages, you will be in ruins and ancient burial grounds in the desert at Suryagarh Jaisalmer, or the ‘white night dinner’ of the Rajputs, a resplendent meal served to guests in the charming Ratadia Talai offered by Narendra Bhawan Bikaner, our focus has always been on experimental stays, ”shares Siddharth Yadav, Vice President of MRS Hotels.
Santosh Sharma, co-founder and CEO of Foresee Aviation and founder of BookMyJet, says that the tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh’s Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks are popular with people who book charter flights. And those who miss an African safari this year are opting for places like Ranthambore, easily one of the more manageable destinations from Delhi-NCR.
Chris Franzen, Vice President (West India) of Hyatt Hotels, says that with people looking to escape the cities, destination hotels away from the metro are doing well. “Hampi has been a great success. It is easily accessible from Bengaluru and Hyderabad by road and train and is touted as the next best leisure destination for travelers, ”he tells TOI.
According to Booking.com, while Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Goa, Udaipur and Alibaug are among the most sought after domestic destinations by Indians this Christmas season, unconventional destinations like Athirappilly in Kerala and Somvarpet in Karnataka have also received quite a high number. of reserves.
Deep Kalra, the founder and CEO of MakeMyTrip, says that travel is innate to humans. With many people still not taking their first flight or a ‘real vacation’ since the pandemic hit, he thinks the ‘massive’ pent-up demand will only fuel the need to explore.
While the winter break will be the first outing for many families after closing, it will also mean adjusting to the new normal, for both travelers and hotel chains. As there can be very little chance of leaving the property, several resorts like Soneva Fushi in Maldives offer activities such as stargazing sessions with astronomer Lars Christiansen, soccer sessions with French footballer Mikael Silvestre, tennis training with former Swedish player Jonas Bjorkman and dance classes with Swedish sensations Lana Murphy and Jonathan Naslund.
Additionally, many people are also looking for longer trips, along with options like homestays, service apartments, and guesthouses.
Ankush Nijhawan, CEO of Nijhawan Group and CEO of Travel Boutique Online, notes that this year there has been a shift towards booking with travel agents. “Because Covid travel restrictions are constantly changing, people need someone familiar to call if they want to change their reservations immediately or help them in an emergency,” he explains.

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