Weekend getaways are in this season

July 10th, 2008 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

By Varada Bhat
Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) Come the monsoon and weekend getaways seem to be in for urban leisure travellers. More and more families prefer short trips to resorts on the outskirts of Mumbai compared to far-flung destinations. The speedy getaways from the frantic pulse of modern life are being recognised as the best therapy for those drained by the nine-to-beyond-five grind. “Weekend getaways have become fashionable. Not only does one save time but they are also cost effective,” Sandeep Murthy, chairman of travel portal Cleartrip, told IANS.

Murthy feels the recent increase in fuel price has had a strong cascading effect on middle and upper middle class leisure travellers.

“Compared to last year, we have seen a dip of about five percent this year. People are opting for shorter trips,” he added.

Cleartrip is also wooing travellers by offering theme-based packages ranging from golf, wellness, beaches and wildlife.

Maharasthra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) officials also feel that as an aftermath of rising airfares, people have started exploring nearby destinations compared to far-flung foreign lands.

State-owned MTDC is also pitching hard in promoting various seaside destinations. It also has plans to introduce adventure sports like scuba diving and snorkeling this season near the warm waters of Sindhudurg along the Konkan coast.

“There is great demand for such activities. A one-day adventure sports package with equipment and meals costs approximately Rs.3,000 per person, which is very economical,” said Subodh Khinelakar, who looks after adventure sports at MTDC.

Riddhi Oza, an executive with a management consultancy, says, “I have my weekends off and such short trips prove to be inexpensive and less tiring.”

Oza, who recently went to a resort in Lonavala near Pune with her family and friends, said: “I got a good break from the routine and indulged in some sports and spas.”

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