Saturday, August 28, 2010

Delhi Citizens have not interest in Games: Planning holidays during CWG

Delhi will keep its date with the Commonwealth Games, but will Delhiites? Former Union sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, it seems, is not the only one ‘‘getting the hell out of Delhi’’ during the Games. Travel agents many city residents are booking holiday packages ranging from weekend getaways to longer vacations abroad.

Travel agencies have designed special Commonwealth Games packages to lure customers. Not that they need much tempting. With schools, colleges and even some offices having declared October 3-14 as a vacation, Delhi, it seems, can’t wait to get away.

Travel companies come out with special packages for Oct

A large number of city residents not wanting to be in the city during the Games are booking holiday packages. ‘‘I wonder who will be left in the city to watch the Games. Our agency has booked travel plans for more than a hundred groups during that period. Normally we do get a good response during Dussehra, but with the Games holidays we are getting more bookings than the summer vacations,’’ said Ankit Miglani, manager Welcome Trips Travel Agency.

The destinations are as varied as Rishikesh and Bangkok, ‘‘People just want to move out, it does not matter where they go,’’ said Ankit. ‘‘A cruise to Singapore is the biggest attraction this season. Rs 23,000 are the calling rate for a cruise to Singapore. This has attracted a lot of people.’’

Rajneesh Kapoor from A2Z Travels agrees that a huge chunk of Delhiites will be missing during the Games. ‘‘We are getting a lot of enquiries about 10 every day for special packages during the Games. They are not sure about the dates yet, but once the schools declare their holidays, we have a long queue of people wanting to go out.’’

‘‘There is nothing to hold Delhiites back. The city is in a mess and with added security and traffic restrictions during the event, they just want to move out,’’ he added.

After Bangkok and Singapore, people are eager to go to Goa. ‘‘Considering the number of bookings we are getting, there’s a good chance you might stumble into your neighbour in Goa this October,’’ said Ankit.

Rishikesh is also attracting a lot of people as rafting will resume in October. Anirudh Choudhry, who works in a multinational company said, ‘‘I am planning a trip to Rishikesh with my friends in October. We would rather head out than stay back for the Games. We can watch the events on television too, why should we spoil our holidays?’’

Jassi from J2 Travels has introduced lucrative packages for October. He said, ‘‘Our camps are already booked from the end of September till October 10. We had never got this kind of response during Dussehra. Many companies are taking corporate packages.’’

The leading travel agencies too have introduced packages during the Games both for domestic tourists as well as foreign visitors. Their target destinations are Jaipur, Agra and Ranthambore National park etc. Sources in Delhi Tourism said, ‘‘Tour operators who have offered lucrative tour packages have taken advantage of the situation.’’