Thursday, October 30, 2014

High air fares force Amdavadis to hit road this Diwali.


AHMEDABAD: As the Diwali weekend approaches, air fares are touching new highs. With plane seats getting fewer or almost booked, Amdavadis are planning to take road trips to nearby locations to beat the out of reach air travel. The fares for regular as well as holiday destinations are almost 10-12 times higher over the Diwali weekend than what they are otherwise. This has forced people to take short road trips with their families to destinations such as Mount Abu, Gir-Somnath, Diu and Udaipur among others.

"Like in the US where families go for short trips over the weekend, people here too are taking that route to make the most of the holidays. It is not only cheaper, but one also gets to explore different areas and families spend more time together," said Manish Sharma, city-based tour operator.

Destinations like Gir-Somnath-Diu and Mount Abu-Udaipur are being preferred the most by Amdavadis for 5-day weekend starting Thursday. "Every year, I along with my family go for holidays once we are done with Lakshmi Puja on Diwali. This year I am going to Pavagadh and Saputara. Some of my friends have opted for nearby destinations in Rajasthan," said Deven Patel, businessman.
"All the hotels in the city, especially 3-star and above are almost booked. More than 60% of the crowd that will be coming here is from Gujarat only," said Sanjay Singhal, a hotelier in Mount Abu.

With Gir forest also opening up, many people are taking wildlife tours coupled with trip to Somnath temple and Diu.

Some people who were unable to get bookings in hotels have rented out farm houses for 5-6 days. "I am going with my extended family to Mount Abu and also taking my cook along with me. We have booked a farm house so that the whole family can stay together and have some great time," said Harshil Patel, a businessman.

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