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by Rehana Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:36 am
Single or a couple, with family or friends - Valentine's Day is a Friday, which means Delhi's going places, quite literally!

Couples will have a lot of time for love this weekend - 50% of respondents in a survey, conducted by for Valentine's Day, said that they'd take leave on February 14. With two more days of leave after that, couples and families are going to be heading out, many out of town, to the nearest romantic place or holiday hotspot.

People taking off on Valentine's Day
Commenting on the trend, Prakash Sangam, business head,, says, "Valentine's Day has finally gained the status of a festival, with people taking the day off to spend time with their loved ones. It is even more interesting to note that the percentage of males taking leave on Valentine's Day is greater than that of females. While 62% of men are taking an off on Valentine's Day, only 45% of women are doing so."

Increase in flight and hotel bookings
Not only that, there is also a 50% increase in flight bookings to destinations such as Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, according to "As Valentine's Day is falling on a Friday this year, couples have geared up to spend the upcoming weekend at a wide variety of interesting destinations. We have recorded an increase of over 50% in bookings for certain flight sectors around these dates, while bookings for hotels have risen by almost 156% vis-a-vis last year at the top destinations, which include Goa, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Srinagar and Cochin," says Sharat Dhall, president,

Adds Rajeev Kale, COO - MICE, domestic, sports holidays and cruises, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, "Our customer research has highlighted the fact that for today's Indian traveller, a standard run-of-the-mill tour holds zero interest and our on-ground sales teams are reporting increasing demand for experiential, engaging holidays. This year, to celebrate Valentine's Day, we have witnessed new age couples demanding engaging, distinctive, fun couple activities. So be it self-drive holidays, wildlife trails and jungle safaris, adventure activities like rappelling, white water rafting, ice climbing, kayaking or paragliding, adventure seems to be the common theme, and is now definitely the flavour of the season."

Applied for leave in January
It is not that people are making their last-moment leave excuses for this Friday. They had applied for leaves a month ago, so that they were not rejected. "I applied for leave on Valentine's Day in January, so that my boss doesn't reject it. I knew many people in my team would be taking an off that day so just to be on the safe side, I applied early. Also, at the time, it didn't strike anyone that I am taking an off on February 14. And luckily, my leave was accepted and others' applications have got rejected," says Shekhar Kumar*, a management trainee.

Lesson learnt from last year

While some are utilizing this V-day because of the weekend, for some, it is a lesson learnt from past experience and therefore, they are going on a three-day holiday. "Last year, I was so busy with work that I almost forgot that it was Valentine's Day and I couldn't do anything other than a candle-light dinner. That made my girlfriend very upset and she didn't speak to me properly for days. It was our first V-day together, so she was expecting me to be a little more romantic. This year, just to compensate for what I did last year, I want to make her feel special. I have therefore booked tickets for Goa and she doesn't know it yet. It is going to be a big surprise for her. She loves Goa and I have always heard her praising the blue water and white sand of Curlies beach," says Prateek Kumar*, a business analyst.

First Valentine after wedding
It is not only men who are planning a weekend getaway to surprise their girlfriends - even the girls are doing so. Jyoti Choudhary*, a homemaker, says, "This is my first Valentine's after my wedding. My husband is a little boring and I can't expect him to make any special plans for this day. I want this day to be memorable for both of us. I have planned a trip to Rajasthan (Jaipur and Udaipur). I didn't tell him, but on Thursday (February 13), I asked him to take an off on Friday on the grounds that his wife is not well. It is going to be a big surprise for him."

Similarly, Preety Modi*, a sales manager, has planned a trip to Shimla. She said, "As we are both working, we didn't get the time to go on a honeymoon because of the short leave. But I am going to utilize this Valentine's Day, and will make it a short honeymoon for us. It would be quite romantic to celebrate Valentine's and our honeymoon together. I have planned a trip to Shimla because it is the only place where we can go and return in three days' time."


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