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With more and more Indians wanting to utilize long weekends for short breaks, there was up to 49 percent growth in bookings during this the Independence Day week. While overall air bookings increased over 30 percent from last year, hotel bookings saw a 50 percent spike during the week with demand growing for high-end properties. An interesting feature was the rise in the number of women travelers, which rose by 5 percentage points. “With the Independence Day falling in the middle of the week this year, we saw increased bookings both for the prior weekend as well as for the weekend after August 15.

“The number of air bookings made at least 15 days in advance has increased by 49 percent from last year. On the hotels front, we observed that 64 percent of the bookings were made in the last four weeks and 34 percent over the previous six weeks,” Cleartrip Vice-President for accommodation and activities, Ankit Rastogi told PTI. He said the average stay for domestic round-trip bookings increased by a day from last year. “Over 57 percent of the hotel bookings were for three nights or above. Interestingly, people are more inclined towards spending on luxury properties, with almost 33 percent of the bookings for 4 and 5-star hotels against 23 percent last year,” he added.

Bookings by couples, families, and group bookings amounted to 39 percent, 29 percent and 19 percent of the total booking pie for hotels. Delhiites preferred going to Shimla, Kathmandu and Goa, while Mumbaiites flew to Goa, Jaigarh, Matheran and Pune.

Meanwhile, Ixigo Chief Executive and Co-Founder Aloke Bajpai said his company has witnessed over 46 percent jump in weekend travel compared to corresponding weeks. “Many major domestic airlines and travel portals announced their Independence Day sales, which contributed to this growth. The preferred weekend travel dates were between August 3 and 16, with most people taking short trips, many back to their hometowns. “The peak was observed for travel from Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Mumbai,” he added.