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Uptick in Covid fails to ground weekend plans

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Despite a rise in Covid-19 infections across states, travel portals are seeing a significant uptick in bookings for the upcoming long weekend. Bookings are expected to gain further momentum from Monday. August 11-15 is being touted as one of the longest weekends of the year with travellers looking to be off from Rakhi on Thursday till Independence Day on Monday, and restaurants, hotels and travel companies have launched special offers and deals.

"With Raksha Bandhan on Thursday followed by Independence Day on Monday, Janmashtami on Friday and many such holidays coming up in August, it is a great opportunity for extended weekend getaways. We are seeing a surge in demand during this festive period as many in India are using this opportunity to travel either to near-by destinations or long-haul domestic and international destinations," said Ritu Mehrotra, regional commercial director APAC at

Mehrotra said leisurely destinations such as Lonavala, Jaipur, Udaipur, Puducherry and Goa are some of the most booked destinations for August on Destinations like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are some of the preferred international destinations.

Airline queries for Bengaluru and Goa have grown over 100% month on month for August 11-15 on ixigo.

"We are seeing a positive pick-up in demand for the upcoming long weekend. This is one of the longest weekends of the year, so travellers want to make the most of it by planning short getaways in advance," said Aloke Bajpai, group CEO and co-founder, ixigo.

"We are seeing a mix of leisure travel, staycations and people traveling to their hometowns for the long break. Beach destinations like Goa have seen more than 100% increase in flight search queries. Coorg, Kerala and Pondicherry are amongst the top favourite destinations searched by travellers this monsoon. The long weekend has also seen a rise in search demand for popular short-haul international destinations like Maldives, Bali, Bangkok and Dubai," he added.

Vipul Prakash, COO of Goibibo, said the platform is witnessing a surge in leisure travel bookings to Goa, Jaipur, Lonavala and Kochi.

"Similarly, we are noticing an uptick in bookings for homebound travel. Data further indicates that 49% of the flight bookings are for travel to tier II and III sectors, suggesting that many are planning to head home to spend the long-weekend and the festival of Rakhi with friends and family", he added.

Mahindra Holidays and Resorts is witnessing 'high demand' at hill station resorts such as Kandaghat, Corbett and Naldehra in the North as well as Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, Goa in the West, Cherai, Coorg and Virajpet in the South.

Harkaran Singh, general manager at Hyatt Regency, Dehradun, said the property is booked to capacity upcoming long weekend in August is forecast to be 'extremely busy' with resident and non-resident guests.

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