Mumbaikars prefer exotic locations for vacation

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Mumbai, Apr 10 (UNI) Off-the-beaten track destinations like Alaska and Scandinavia are emerging as favourite vacation spots for those bitten by the travel bug here in the city.

Mehul, who resides in the suburbs, will be taking his wife and eight-year-old son way up north to Alaska this summer to enjoy the mountains, snow and solitude.

For the pleasure, Mehul will be spending over Rs 2 lakh per person. To complete the picture, he also plans to take a photographer and a cameraman along so that all are in the frame.

Travel agents are reporting brisk bookings for exotic locations, be it Finland -- official home of Santa Claus, Peru or the Patagonias in South America. A city-based travel agent has already notched up 500 bookings for Alaska from vacationers, and 300 for Scandinavia.

People now want privacy and a chance to explore and experience one country at a time, and are avoiding the ''touristy' places'', says another travel agent.

With rising income, many are willing to shell out upto Rs 5 lakh to unwind in a new place, he adds.

Agrees yet another travel agency executive, ''Despite the higher expenses, thousands are booking holidays at exotic locales.

Twenty-five per cent of our revenue comes from Mumbai making it our biggest market in the country.'' UNI ZC MAZ LS DS1402

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