New Delhi, Feb 26 (Calcutta Tube) With Holi on a Monday this year, many residents of the capital are packing their bags for a long weekend getaway.
While most are opting for road trips to nearby tourist spots like Jaipur, the Corbett National Park or Mathura, some are choosing a hill station like Shimla or Mussourie, said Rakesh Lamba, president of the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI).
‘Most people are using the extended weekend to celebrate the colourful festival at nearby tourist spots. These are mostly tour packages being booked in three-star/four-star hotels. People are looking for convenient road trips and mostly they are taking their own vehicles or hiring cabs,’ Lamba told IANS.
Divya Verma, a marketing executive, and her relatives have planned their weekend sojourn at a resort in Sohna near Gurgaon.
‘We just made the plan on impulse. There are some 20 of us – aunts, uncles, cousins, little kids – we are cashing in on the weekend and are going to have a gala celebration there,’ said Verma, 35.
Her family has arranged music, food and the traditional intoxicating bhang thandai and pakoras to add to the festive cheer, Divya said.
Homemaker Pria Sharma said: ‘My cousin lives in Mathura. Their Holi is the real Holi, celebrated with grand festivities. We wanted to see how the traditional festivities happen. Since this time the festival falls immediately after the weekend, my husband and I have decided to drive down there.’
Some tour operators have increased their charges a little to make the best of the demand for holiday packages, Lamba said.
‘There is not much variation in the bookings for tour packages this festive season. With Holi falling after a weekend this time, there is a slight increase in bookings. This has led to a little tariff hike. People are mostly asking us to plan road trips to Rajasthan and Mathura,’ said Lalit, a domestic tour operator from Tybros India in central Delhi’s Rajendra Nagar.
Lamba said that on an average such road trips for two people cost Rs.10,000-15,000 with three-star or four-star hotel accommodation and can go up to Rs.25,000-30,000 for a package with five-star accommodation.