By Dillip Pradhan
Bhubanswar: Marriages are made in heaven, and when it comes to time for honeymoon, the newly-wed couples prefer places which, according to them, should not be any less than heaven. With many factors contributing to richer options for honeymoon destinations these days, places like Kerala and Goa which remained the most sought-after destination for decades together have given way to exotic locations in far-off foreign lands.
Besides places in India, countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia tops the list as the honeymoon budget is quite cheaper for these countries than the European countries. However, the affluent couples never hesitate to spend an exorbitant amount to have a memorable honeymoon tour.
“Normally couples prefer beach destinations as there they get a cool and calm atmosphere to spend some happy hours. And for this reason we receive many queries for Thailand, Maldives, Singapore and Malaysia,” says Jagdish Behera, president, Travel Agents Association of Odisha.
Some others also love mountain and hilly destinations to spend some days with their partner while few others prefer pilgrim places from where they would start their married life, Behera adds.
The cost factor also matters as many wish to have a honeymoon tour within their budget and have maximum enjoyment on the trip.
“In India, Goa and Kerala cost around 40,000 per week for a standard trip. It covers standard accommodation with foods. But, for financially sound couple, the range varies as they chose star hotel and comfortable and costly vehicle for sightseeing during tour period”, says Sanghamitra Jena, director of Eastern Treasure India Tour private Ltd.
With people preferring to make their honeymoon one of the most memorable parts of their lives, it is not rare to find a newly-wed from a middle-class family in a nondescript corner of Odisha heading for unusual places like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are most preferred honeymoon destinations to have their best of times, adds Jena.
Couple interested for mountain places like Sikkim, Darjeeling , Meghalaya and Shimla also have to spend similar amount of around Rs 50,000 with same facilities, she maintains.
Puri, Konark has become most common sight for everyone in Odisha. “So, we decided to visit country’s northern parts to spend some initial days of wedding life. We were suggested that Shimla can satisfy us with our budget. And we really enjoyed snowfall there”, said Rasmiranjan, who recently spent a week with his partner at the cold destination.
Apart from the cost factor, official formalities sometimes pose hurdles for the visitors to travel foreign destinations. People can easily travel the Asian countries but when one thinks about European nations, difficulties in VISA arrangement certainly shatter their hope of touring far-off overseas places.
“Couples mostly ask for a tour to Mauritius and Maldives as the budget for these countries are a bit low, but the higher income group couples prefer Switzerland, Hong Kong and Macau. Many a time there has been issues with visa arrangements in such countries,” said another tour operator from Bhubaneswar.
For Mauritius and Maldives the cost ranges between Rs 60,000 and Rs 70,000 for six nights and seven days including sightseeing, while, it’s Rs 90,000 per head when you go for Hong Kong or Switzerland.