Narayan Singh, a teacher from Bandra, says he's already slipping into that holiday mood ahead of the long weekend.
“The weather's perfect, the weekend's long... A perfect time for a short family break away from Mumbai," says Singh whose bags are almost packed. The long weekend – Eid (birthday of Prophet Mohammed) on Friday, Republic day on Saturday with Sunday in tow – has many from the city planing out-of-town holidays, if tour operators are to be believed.
Manager of Maharashtra Tourism Department Corporation, Sanjay Dhekane, says people look forward to such long weekends to plan brief sojourns at holiday spots close to the city. “Like any long weekend, this time too we have many from the city who've planned their holiday well in advance for this long weekend,” Dhekane told DNA.
The corporation's resorts had received bookings at some of popular holiday spots – Khandala, Lonavala, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Tarkarli, Ganpatipule just to name a few.
Buoyed by the spiralling demand, private resorts and hotels too have jacked up tariffs for the weekend. Also, private entertainment parks have lined up events to attract visitors.
For those with slightly deeper pockets and willing to stretch their holiday plan a wee bit beyond the three days, travel agencies are dishing out 4-day packages to destinations outside the state and the country – Bangkok, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Maldives being some of the favourites abroad.
Also, for those who hadn't made early plans, tour operators are cutting out tailormade offers. “Late bookings obviously cost more than holdiays planned by the early birds,” says Borivli-based tour operator Surya Nath. "And yes, people are more than willing to shell out that extra buck to go and chill."