Citizens' Issues
Monsoon tourism takes off in India in a big way
According to tour and travel experts, Kerala and Goa are the top travel destinations during the monsoon
 
Sachin and Shikha Sharma were told by their friends not to travel during the monsoon. But the couple, who got married last August, wanted to again visit their honeymoon destination Goa - this time during the monsoon to enjoy the rain.
 
They were happy with the travel package, but what thrilled them more was that they were able to prove the naysayers wrong.
 
"It was heavenly. This was the first time that we travelled during monsoon and let me tell you it was something," Shikha, who works in a BPO, told IANS.
 
"It (Goa) wasn't crowded as we see during peak season (from November to February) and that added to its charm. The cool breeze, the heavenly scent of the earth during rains, the food ..everything added to sizzle our romance. I wish I could have prolonged my stay.
 
"My husband was happy too as the trip fitted our budget," she said.
 
The Sharmas are not the only ones. More and more Indians are now venturing out during the monsoon. They are mostly the adventurous kind or couples who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy and experience the rain.
 
D.S. Rawat, secretary general of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), told IANS that monsoon tourism (from June to October) is a new concept, but "is fast emerging as a potential season for hospitality industry".
 

Ranjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer-Holidays, MakeMyTrip, India's leading online travel company that was founded in 2000 and pioneered the entire online travel industry in the country, said the monsoon is the best time for those looking for nature-oriented experiences.
 
"It was not considered a popular travel season in India, but the sentiment is fast-changing in the last couple of years, with monsoon travel picking up significantly," Oak told IANS.
 
He said the huge drivers for this are the fantastic deals offered by higher-star hotels, especially resorts and five-star properties, to boost occupancy in this otherwise lean travel period.
 
Also, airline flash sales fuel cheap travel during this period.
 
The average spend for a monsoon holiday ranges from Rs.11,000 to Rs.45,000 ($175 to $715) per person depending on the destination and category of hotels or resorts.
 
According to tour and travel experts, Kerala and Goa are the top travel destinations during the monsoon.
 
These are followed by Coorg in Karnataka; Udaipur and Mount Abu in Rajasthan; Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar and Matheran in Maharashtra; Darjeeling in West Bengal, Shillong and Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya; Mussorie, Nanital, Rishikesh and Kasauli in Uttarakhand; Leh in Ladakh and Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 
If you want to try out some unbeaten tracks during this season then, according to Hari Nair, founder and CEO of HolidayIQ.com, try out Dhanaulti and Munsiayari (both in Uttarakhand), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Kakkabe (Karnataka), Netarhat (Jharkahnd) and Panhala (Maharashtra).
 
HolidayIQ.com is India's first travel community with over two million members from 80+ Indian cities and the first holiday planning website.
 
Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com, India's leading online travel company, said this season they are looking at growing about 57 percent as compared to the last two seasons.
 
According to him, quick weekend getaways for couples, DINKs or groups of friends are the flavour of the season.
 
"If we look at emerging trends, the spending has certainly gone up and I also feel that people are taking holidays more frequently than before," Dhall told IANS.
 
He could be right about that.
 
After their "beautiful" vacation, Sachin and Shikha are already planning their next "weekend" trip at the end of this month.
 
"I think this was the first time I didn't mind the rain. It was fun getting wet. I had hired a scooty and explored Goa like I had not done in my previous trips. The ride through the lush, greenery soothed me. It was just beautiful," Sachin told IANS.
 
"My wife and I had a fantastic time. I don't know why people say 'don't travel during this time'. It is comparatively cheaper too. I think monsoon travel should be tried by everyone.
 
"I am now planning a short trip this month, most probably to the Valley of Flowers (in Uttarakhand). I have heard this is the time to visit it. I am already looking forward to it," Sachin added.
 
Happy rain-fed hollidaying!

User

COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

1 year ago

It is the quality of roads that is a big bothersome and unenjoyable that forces one to avoid rainy holidaying, especially if you are roed traveller.

Now is the time to deal with population explosion in India
The poignant fact is that the figures are rising by the day despite the population-control policies, family planning and welfare programmes undertaken by the government
 
To gauge the mammoth rise of the Indian population, the most ideal places to visit are Metro stations, airports, malls, railway stations and bus stands. As we prepare to observe the World Population Day, a road-map to expand healthcare access across the nation has become a critical priority for the policymakers.
 
As per the Indian census carried out in 2011, the population figure was 1,210,193,422 - well above the one-billion mark. India, the second most populous country in the world, is projected to surpass China by 2025.
 
The poignant fact is that the figures are rising by the day despite the population-control policies, family planning and welfare programmes undertaken by the government.
 
The mortality rate is on a decline thanks to the advancement in the field of medicine, but there has been no significant success in terms of bringing down the birth rate.
 
Much of population increase is among the poorest socio-economic strata. Relatively, socio-economically advanced Indian states displayed a fertility rate of less than 2.1 in 2009, which is less than the level needed to maintain a stable population following the infant mortality standards in developed nations.
 
Though the one-child policy in China was criticised as against human dignity and rights, it has helped China to control its population by a possible 400 million people.
 
There is a distinct possibility of irreversible and unsustainable population growth and big question marks remain over how India will provide nearly 1.7 billion people with their basic minimum needs.
 
As of 2013 statistics, the number of private hospitals and private doctors had shown a multiple-fold increase at 7,500+ and 300,000, respectively. Similarly, the private sector has enabled an increased availability of medicines by setting up pharmacies/chemist shops. There are more than 105,000 chemists who are providing medicines in 120 cities in the country.
 
Nevertheless, a disproportionate increase in the population has raised fears of an alarming shortfall in terms of the doctor-patient ratio and the corresponding accessibility to quality healthcare.
 
Increasing the welfare and status of women and girls; imparting education; enhancing awareness for the use of contraceptives and family planning methods; sex education; encouraging male sterilisation and spacing births can be some of the ways to curtail the escalating population.
 
It would be ideal for a country like India to be more progressive in outlook and shed inhibitions when it comes to free distribution of contraceptives and condoms among the poor.
 
As the government seeks to expand its expenditure on healthcare, it must select a strategy that provides significant healthcare access benefit to the Indian population. Sustainable policy solutions to healthcare financing, infrastructure and human resource challenges are critically needed.
 
Overall, while there are pockets of improvements, significant healthcare access challenges continue to exist for the Indian population. The longer India delays acknowledging the severity of these problems and dealing with them head on, the graver the consequences are likely to be.

User

COMMENTS

Manoj Reghupathy

1 year ago

The writer is ill informed & ill-intentioned; even the chinese are rethinking their on-child policy ( see http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world...

nginx

1 year ago

The Indian government has to take a tough stand sooner or later and start meting out harsh punishments to those who choose have more than 2 kids. Even in a democracy, we cannot give unlimited freedom to the people if the people aren't responsible enough to use that freedom wisely. Restrictions on child birth must be put in place henceforth, no matter how unpopular it may be. Some of the most beneficial policies can often be unpopular in the beginning but yield significant benefits in the long run.

The effect of overpopulation can be easily seen by going to any Metro city and availing of public transport. People can be seen hanging off the doors of buses and trains, sometimes people even riding on rooftops. Hundreds/thousands die everyday due to accidents as a result. Why should people ever have to travel like this? Don't we Indians have any dignity or self-respect? Look at how comfortable public transport is in other countries. Unfortunately things have become so bad only because of overpopulation. If people can't realize this now, they never will.

Minority appeasement for the sake of votes and doling out freebies and benefits in the form of taxes deduction & various yojnas to people having kids must stop immediately. This is actually encouraging people to have more kids. The government is completely blind to what is the need of the hour and is only working to secure their place in the parliament in the next election.

Praveen

1 year ago

Time to deal with population explosion in India was in 1960s or 70s. I chose to be childfree considering the gravity of problem facing the country/planet.

I am amazed that a fellow Christian colleague who passed out of ISB chose to have 3 kids.

As long as subsidies exists, people will never realize cost of their lives to their country and live in a cocoon of illusion.

SuchindranathAiyerS

1 year ago

Health Care? The Republic of India dismantled public health care since 1947 under the guise of "social engineering". Probably to cynically control the population for the benefit of the emergent Kleptocracy. The Indian Republic established scarcity of all essentials so as to provide the kleptocracy with the best of everything at the cost of the rest of the nation. The more the number of serfs to prey on, the better it is for the tyranny. i.e. the kleptocracy. that is the model of Indian "Governance"

Simple Indian

1 year ago

Our burgeoning population has been putting such immense strain on our resources, yet neither politicians nor common people seem to realize the hazards of gross over-population. Much of our woes can be traced to over-population. As people don't seem to realize, perhaps as in China, Govt of India / States need to make people realize the importance of population control.

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