Business Other News 13 Feb 2019 Destination romance ...

Destination romance gets pocket-friendly for Valentine-Day

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SANGEETHA G
Published Feb 13, 2019, 4:28 am IST
Updated Feb 13, 2019, 4:28 am IST
Budha Chandra
 Budha Chandra

Chennai: Valentine’s Day falling closer to a weekend has become an opportunity for the travel industry to promote romantic getaways.

“Travel compatibility plays a key role in any relationship and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we have seen a drastic rise in our searches and booking. Traveling with loved ones gives an opportunity to experience new places and cultures together and we have noticed young couples taking an off on Thursday and Friday to make it a long weekend and travel,” said Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head, Expedia in India.

Expedia is offering hotels at Rs 621 per night in Pattaya under its destination of the week offers. Additionally, Expedia’s recently launched product that allows travellers to qualify for hotel discounts of up to 44 per cent anytime till the departure date. No wonder, Expedia has seen a 25 per cent surge in booking for Goa, Jaipur, Kerala, Shimla, Gokarna, Andamans and Pondicherry. Among international short-haul destinations, people prefer Dubai, Bali, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The tourism board of Ireland has been aggressively promoting the country as a romantic destination. Blessing of Rings ceremony on February 14 at a church in Dublin’s Whitefriar Street, which contains relics of St Valentine, is a key attraction.

SOTC Travel is offering special holiday packages to destinations such as Andaman, Bhutan, Kashmir, Mysore this Valentine’s day. Romantic getaway packages of SOTC also include traditional and nontraditional experiences like taking a cooking class together, wine tasting, hot air ballooning, scuba diving, hiring private yachts for a day, private island picnics and couple spa. “We have seen millennial couples opting for multiple short holidays instead of one long holiday annually, finds Daniel D’Souza, head sales, India and NRI markets, SOTC Travel

Oyo has witnessed 112 per cent increase in bookings so far as compared to the same period last year and expects this to go up by over 150 per cent closer to Valentine’s Day. While couples accounted for 63 per cent of bookings, friends and family also had 22 per cent share.

“Consumers are increasingly looking at this as an opportunity to travel and celebrate with their loved ones, including family and friends, not just their partner. We believe that the aggressive expansion and growth of the travel and hospitality industry as a whole and the availability of affordable good quality travel and accommodation options at every consumer touch point has triggered this change,” said Burhanuddin Pithawala, vice president, conversions, OYO Hotels and Homes.

Beach destinations both domestic and international are at the top of the list for travellers planning a short vacation this Valentine’s Day, finds ixigo. “We have seen an average increase of 23 per cent in bookings for destinations like Goa, Male and Bali. With Thailand introducing pre-departure e-visas for Indian nationals starting Feb 14, Bangkok has also become a popular pick for couples planning last-minute getaways,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder of ixigo.

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