Express News Service
HYDERABAD: New Year’s is just around the corner and people have been gearing up to celebrate it with their loved ones. From planning an international vacation to spending time in a resort or a farmhouse, everyone has some or the other plan to welcome 2022. As many plan their vacation around this time, flight fares have touched the roof. However, this did not stop people from travelling to their favourite destinations, instead, they seem to have no qualms about the tickets being way too expensive.
Flight fares to popular destinations such as Dubai and Maldives have skyrocketed this time. Travel agents help us understand the reason behind this. Priyanka Ranka, managing director of Holidaz.com, explains, “The reason is simple — it is holiday time and people want to spend the end of the year what they love doing the most — travel!
So one can blame the rush and the increased taxes on flights. I think it’s safe to say that people have become more instinctive with their plans, they’re fed up with sitting at home for more than a year. With the WHO declaring Omicron not being dangerous, places have been welcoming people, which encouraged many travel enthusiasts. Domestic flights are on a higher movement than international. Kashmir has seen the most number of bookings after eight years. Goa has always been a New Year’s destination, so it is also in high demand. Maldives tops the list and then come Dubai, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The only travel restrictions are the RTPCR tests and full vaccination.”
Meanwhile, prominent personalities and celebrities in the city share their plans for New Year’s Eve. Executives from different pubs and resorts, too, reveal how they plan to go about the restrictions that are being implemented by the Telangana government.
Neeraja Kona, a well-known designer from the city, will be spending December 31 night with her family vacationing in Sri Lanka. “My family is reuniting after a couple of years. Most of my cousins, including my husband’s brother, live in the US. So, after almost six years, we got together only now for a wedding. We decided to go on a family trip to Sri Lanka. We’re leaving on Thursday and are pretty excited about this trip.”
Actor Navdeep talks about how he wants to be away from the regular concerts and spend some time with his friends on a trip. “I have grown out of the phase where NYE was about large gatherings and concerts, now it is all about close people and peaceful places, so, I am going to spend the day in my newfound love, Meghalaya. It is more like a homestay in the hills and I would be going there with my friends.”
Telugu rapper and actor Roll Rida will welcome 2022 with his friends in the outskirts of Hyderabad. “This time, because of the pandemic, we decided to not travel. I will be celebrating the day with my friends at a farmhouse. Usually, I’d have been busy with shows around this time of the year, but I’m glad I got some time off with my friends. I get to be the farmhouse DJ this time! I want to end this year with a bang as I have my next project being released by a very big celebrity. I believe that 2022 is going to be amazing. I never spent New Year’s Eve with my friends, I’m looking forward to this.”
Naveen Painuli, general manager operations at Hard Rock Cafe in HITEC City, informs about the performances lined up and the guidelines they will be following. “As far as artistes are considered, we have DJ Jaya from Goa and Anand Bhagat from Mumbai. We have our Hard Rock Covid protocols in place and will urge our customers to comply. We have got the entire place sanitised and fogged. This will be a day-to-day routine for us until we’re all safe from Covid. We will be operating with 50 per cent occupancy, while the capacity is 250. But we will accommodate only 150 guests. While the Telangana government’s guidelines permit liquor to be served until 1 am, we will still be sticking to our normal time which is 12:15 am. By 1 am, we will empty out the venue.”
Kancharla Aksah Reddy, director of Dream Valley Resorts, says the resort will see low-key celebrations this year. “There’s this exciting DJ night planned for our guests. We also have other interesting events lined up. Our rooms will have packaged food — our special package of Rs 12,000 per room (inclusive of taxes) includes buffet dinner, cocktail snacks, breakfast and lunch.”