While Goa retains its favourite status for many looking to ring in the New Year, travel agents report that many Delhiites plan to head abroad to some of Southeast Asia’s most visited destinations, including Thailand and Singapore, besides evergreen vacay spots including Dubai.

“Earlier, there was Covid-19 but now finally we’ll celebrate Christmas and New Year on a cruise,” shares Ashish Gupta, Delhi-based logistics professionalwho is headed to Singapore with his family. He adds, “My daughter has been to only Maldives, and not seen anything else. The best thing is that it’s not far from Delhi, is kid-friendly and not very cold.

“Phuket and Krabi are quite popular,” says Manish Rana, a Delhi-based travel agent, adding, “After Covid-19, everyone feels they have got one life to try to travel and enjoy fully. Yeh December poora packed hai Thailand ki bookings se. Among domestic locations, Mussoorie almost full hai, followed by Jim Corbett and Nainital. Even popular hotels in Delhi-NCR are getting booked super fast. Jaipur mein bache huye rooms jaldi sold out ho jayenge.”

Confirming the trend, Kapil Gupta, a Gurugram-based travel agent, says, “Thailand has opened to travel so we could see this happening. Dubai too has many attractions such as the Museum of the Future, which gets sold out super fast. Agar domestic travel ke rates mein Thailand jane ko mil jaye, toh kaun nahi jana chahega? We’re also getting enquiries for Goa, Andaman and Kerala.” Another Gurugram-based travel agent, Himit Jain adds, “Thailand’s really happening this New Year. You have two direct flights to Bangkok and Phuket, so people get options as well.”

A positive consumer sentiment has driven a three-fold surge in demand for festive packages, observes Rajeev Kale, president and country head, Holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook (India) Limited. He adds, “Europe continues to be a favourite for the Christmas and New Year festive season, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Vietnam and Cambodia have also witnessed an uptick.”

“The international flight segment has recovered by 75% and is expected to move towards full recovery here on. The UAE, Thailand, and Singapore have emerged among the most travelled destinations for Indians for the varied experiences they offer,” says Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer at MakeMyTrip. He adds that in the domestic segment, Goa, Jaipur, Udaipur, Varanasi, Mysuru, Puducherry and Amritsar are the most sought-after.

“Many from Delhi-NCR are interested in cruises this time, and are preferring options that allow them three to four night stays in places such as Singapore,” shares Jain.

Kale agrees that cruise trips, which include all-inclusive holidays with entertainment, dining and shore tours without the hassles of check-in/check out and transfers, are gaining attention rapidly. “Popular international cruise liners include Mediterranean cruises, Scandinavian Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises to the Bahamas and Singapore roundtrip via Malaysia on Genting Dream Cruises. Also, cruises from Europe, Singapore and UAE are back in demand,” he says.

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