Come holidays, the travel industry is abuzz with a lot of hectic activities as there is a rush for booking travel deals and packages. Surprisingly, in Bengaluru, this time along the scenario is a bit different. The tour advisors believe that it is because of the fact that the polling day of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in Bengaluru falls between weekend and festivals.
Increase In Voter Awareness
From pub owners to travel agents, everyone is eager to welcome more rush at their doorsteps during weekends or holidays. As the city goes into polling on April 18 Bengalureans are more or less expected to ditch the vacations and instead turn up at the polling stations for voting.
Increase in voter awareness in the past few years is sure to improve the voter turnout in this year’s elections. The lower bookings than expected during this period indicates that people in Bangalore are indeed giving more preference to using their right as an Indian citizen.
According to Chairman, Karnataka Chapter, Travel Agents Federation of India, Seeraj Sabharwal, “Surprisingly, we do not have even a single booking this weekend. With four days of holidays, I was expecting a rush. In addition, people who had traveled abroad from Bengaluru last weekend are coming back before Thursday, the 18th.”
If people are showing a willingness to return back to India just to cast their vote for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 it means that they do take the Lok Sabha elections and their individual contribution to the building of nation seriously.
Inked Customers To Receive Gifts At Campmonk
The co-founder of Campmonk, Amit Shetty said that the firm has a couple of bookings for the weekend but relatively very few booking for Thursday and Friday. Campmonk that offers camping experience and other travel operators are supporting the voting awareness intention by giving incentives to those preferring to vote by skipping their holiday plans.
Customers showing inked fingers will be given a gift by Campmonk. The gifts include a free kayaking experience or a camping voucher. Shetty said, “We have received plenty of bookings from outside Karnataka during the same period, but here, we are seeing a trend where a lot of people are booking only for the weekend.”
Happily enough, these tour and travel operators are encouraging voters to vote despite the fact that it may indirectly impact their business volume. Similar to Campmonk in Bengaluru, travel operators in Mysuru and Kodagu have also come up with a “No Voting, No Booking” campaign.
The tour operators in this city have decided not to provide taxi services to the tourists on the day of polling.
18% Bengalureans Prefer Traveling Over Voting
Even though the expected turnout this year is higher, there are a few holidayers who are not ready to drop their plan of enjoying a vacation during Easter weekend.
According to head-air & distribution, Cleartrip, Balu Ramachandran, “Comparing this year’s Easter weekend bookings with last year’s, we see that the growth in bookings from Bangalore is 18% higher than the growth in pan-India bookings. Bangaloreans are heading to cities like Pune, Hyderabad, and Mumbai as well as visiting tourist destinations like Goa, Guwahati, and Kochi during the period.”
Also, there is a considerable increase in the travel fares for Wednesday evening with travelers visiting popular tourist destinations located near Bengaluru, the favorite one being Munnar.
The voter turnout during Lok Sabha general elections in 2014 in Bengaluru South, Bengaluru Central, and Bengaluru North constituencies was 55.75%, 55.64%, and 56.53% respectively. The overall turnout in Karnataka was 67.20%.
With encouraging efforts from the tour operators and increase in the voter awareness, hopefully, the voting percentage will be much more in Bengaluru in Lok Sabha Elections 2019.