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Festive season witnesses travel surge to nearby destinations

Pune: Tour companies and online portals have seen a surge in demand for short travel to domestic as well as international destinations, that require no visa or, for which visas can be obtained easily, despite Janmashtami falling on a Saturday..
“People from Pune are showing an inclination towards a trend of ‘festive tourism’ that combines visits to cultural, heritage sites via short breaks during festival holidays,” said Rajeev Kale, president and chief, Holiday, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited.
Travel firms claimed that travellers turned the Janmashtami celebrations into a long weekend from Friday till Sunday and left the city for various locations.
“We have seen a 5-7% (approx) growth in demand for travel across short haul destinations. Not just Pune’s Generation S, but also young working millennials have shown interest in festivities such as the midnight Krishna birth celebrations at the Dwarkadheesh temple in Dwarka, Rasleela in Mathura, the ritualistic Abhishek of Lord Krishna in Vrindavan, or the Dadhikana in Gokul,” said Rajeev Kale.
Daniel D’Souza, president and country head, leisure, SOTC Travel, said, “People have leveraged the festival of Janmashtami by booking holidays in advance. Preferred destinations for short haul destinations this Janmashtami among travellers from Pune include Goa, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Jaipur, Diu and Daman.”
Kale said residents of Pune had also shown preference for monsoon trekking, zip-lining, waterfall rappelling among others to Sinhagad Fort, Lohgad Fort and Kalsubai around Pune and Mumbai this Janmashtami weekend.

Aditya Loomba, joint managing director, Eco Rent A Car, said, people from Pune were flying down to New Delhi and opting for long luxury rides with their families to Mathura-Vrindavan. “We have seen a 10% increase in requests from Pune residents for commuting to nearby hill stations like Lonavla, Panchgani and Khandala,” Loomba said.
Sunil Gupta, managing director and chief executive officer, Avis India, said, “We have witnessed a substantial surge in the number of travellers visiting Mathura and Vrindavan this year.”