25 November, 2020

Them Thar Hills

The tourism industry is booming on all fronts, except for a few air pockets

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Them Thar Hills
First the bad news. If you haven't finalised your Christmas or New Year travel plans yet, we suggest you shelve them. For, most hotels and airlines already have "Housefull" signs up. Now for the good news. For the first time since 9/11, the Indian tourism fraternity is witnessing a real boom. According to Ankur Bhatia, MD of Amadeus, an international reservation system, foreign arrivals might just touch the magical three million-mark for the first time ever by this year-end. Not to forget the increasing number of home-brewed travellers.

While foreign tourist inflows in the January-October 2003 period are up by almost 16 per cent over last year, forex earnings are higher by 20 per cent. Hotels in most metros are reporting occupancy levels of over 80 per cent, a huge jump from the average of about 50 per cent in the last couple of years. States like Kerala, for example, are overbooked till March and even if you are willing to spend half your life's savings to buy a ticket on the Palace-on-Wheels, expect to be turned away.

"While every market in Southeast Asia, and even...


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