Foreign shores beckon Patna holidayers

PATNA: Come summer, and many Patnaites travel out of the city to spend vacations in the hills. Quite many others prefer to fly to foreign shores, say tour and travel agencies.

“The number of Patnaites travelling to foreign countries has constantly gone up in the last five years or so,” said Kamlesh Kumar, who runs a tour and travels agency from Kankarbagh main road.

According to him, though hill stations such as Darjeeling, Shimla, Kullu and Manali continue to beckon most of such families in Patna, there are people who opt for foreign destinations not only during the summer vacations but also during the winter holidays and Dussehra break.

“I make travel and stay bookings for nearly 300 customers in a year. Around 20% of these bookings are for foreign tours,” Kumar said, adding few of them also opt for Europe tour packages.

Joginder Arora, a travel agent based in Boring Road area, said Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were among favourite destinations. A round trip to Thailand costs nearly Rs 24,000 whereas a round trip to Goa costs much more than that. “People usually get their foreign tour bookings done by major tour and travel agencies based in metros. But we do get 2-3 such clients every holiday season,” he said.

Vinod Mishra, another travel agent who operates out of Anisabad, said Thailand was probably the most favourite destination of Patnaites wishing to travel abroad. “Although bookings for hill stations far outnumber those for foreign countries, the trend is fast catching up. I make three-four bookings for Thailand tour for my customers every holiday season,” he said.
Cost matters, indeed. Take, for instance, the case of Neha Kumari of Shri Krishna Puri who gave up the idea of a family holiday in Himachal and instead is now planning to go to Bangkok. “We inquired, and found both the destinations involve almost the same cost. We thought why not visit a foreign country,” Neha told this reporter.
However, Titly Mishra of Pataliputra Colony prefers to travel to every nook and corner of India before going to any foreign country. “I have already visited Gangtok, Guwahati, Cherrapunji, Vaishnodevi and Kerala, but there’s still so much to explore in our own country,” she said.
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