Srinagar most favoured destination for Chandigarh holidaymakers : The Tribune India

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Srinagar most favoured destination for Chandigarh holidaymakers

Those with deep pockets heading for Europe; air tickets, travel packages 35% costlier now

Srinagar most favoured destination for Chandigarh holidaymakers

Tribune News Service

Gaurav Kanthwal

Chandigarh, June 9

Despite turmoil in parts of the Valley, Srinagar continues to be the most favoured destination for the summer vacation among city residents. The North-East, Goa, Mussoorie, Coorg and Kerala too are not far from residents’ mind for a perfect getaway from the searing heat.

Airport footfall

  • January 1,77,858
  • February 2,00,172
  • March 2,96, 629
  • April 3,71,371

Higher domestic traffic

  • The Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) has witnessed a significant increase in the footfall from 1,77,858 to 3,17,371 passengers in the past four months.
  • After Srinagar, Chandigarh airport is second in India in terms of footfall ahead of Lucknow, Jaipur and Amritsar airports in the two to five lakh passenger category.
  • CHIAL CEO Rakesh Dembla said, “The figures for May will be available soon. Approximately, it will be 3.2 lakh for May. On an average, 10,000 to 12,000 passengers are recorded at the arrival and departure on a daily basis.”
  • Airports across the country are registering higher domestic traffic than in 2019 (pre-Covid times).

Those with deep pockets are heading to Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Bali.

Not the ones to let go of the first opportunity to spend the vacation away from home after two years of the pandemic and travel restrictions, holidayers are unmindful of the soaring air ticket prices and travel packages, which have gone up by almost 35 per cent in the domestic and international circuit.

“The five-night and six-day package for Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg is Rs 40,000 per person (excluding air tickets). Good weather and two-year restrictions due to Covid are fuelling the desire of vacationers. Earlier, the Chandigarh-Srinagar return ticket used to be around Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000. Now, it is around Rs 27,000. We have not seen such a rush for Srinagar before,” said Sumit Gandhi from Sai Tours and Travels, Phase 11, Mohali.

Tours and travel operators peg one-week package to Europe (Switzerland and France) at Rs 1.5 lakh per person. However, only those who planned the vacation earlier, around March, are able to clear the visa hurdle now. Those planning their trip to the Alps will have to wait till July-end

Singapore, the next best option, comes around Rs 45,000 and is easily accessible. The Delhi-Singapore return air ticket is around Rs 60,000 in June.

Despite sultry weather conditions these days, places like Goa and Dubai too are attracting bookings in good numbers.

“The Chandigarh-Dubai return ticket, which used to be around Rs 18,000, is currently priced at around Rs 35,000. Yet families prefer it because it’s a direct flight and a family destination. In the domestic circuit, Coorg is popular among city residents. Kerala continues to be an evergreen destination,” said Vaneet Sharma, Sheetal Travels, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

Tours and travel operators said roughly there was a hike of 35 per cent in the rates of air tickets and hotel bookings, but it had not dampened the wanderlust of city residents.

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