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AUGUST is Europe's month of vacations, but with the line- up of long weekends being the way it is this month, it's turning out to be India's holiday season. It starts with the Janamashtami weekend on August 10, moves on to Independence Day on August 15, and ends with the weekend that concludes with Eid on August 20.

If you are making plans to head out of the city, you won't be alone. You are likely to meet plenty on the road. " Flight searches for the key dates around the public holidays in August increased by 54 per cent in July over June," says Jackson Fernandez, General Manager, Wego. co. in, the Indian website of the Singapore- based travel meta search engine, Wega. com.

" Hotel searches went up by 140 per cent in July over June." Neelu Singh, COO, Ezeego1.

com, has the same feedback to share. " We have seen an increase in bookings for this month," she confirms. " Bookings for international quick getaways are up by 16- 18 per cent and around 12 per cent for long holidays. We are expecting an increase in demand of about 10 per cent because of value additions offered by us this year." Pratik Mazumder, Head of Marketing and Strategic Alliances at Yatra. com, agrees with Singh. " There's been an increase of 15 per cent in travel bookings this August. This rise is certainly because of the extended weekends that have created a sense of excitement among travellers," Mazumder says.

And it's not just the online travel portals that have seen a spike in bookings. " With holidays coming up in August, we have seen a 20 per cent increase in short- haul holidays," says Karan Anand, Head of Relationships, Cox & Kings.

At MakeMyTrip. com, the biggest player in the online travel space, there's been a 25 per cent spike in bookings this August, compared with the same month last year. Weekend breaks and Goa have been the two major business drivers this month, according to Mohit Gupta, Chief Business Officer ( Holidays), MakeMyTrip. com.

To get to their destination as soon as possible, a lot of travellers are opting for weekend getaways. " We have seen people from different locations booking for travel packages that are closest to their places of residence," Mazumder adds.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 5, 2012

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