Diwali holidays are one of the most important weeks in every Gujarati’s yearly travel calendar. Gujaratis celebrate their new year on the next day of Diwali and they open their business institutions on Labh Pancham, the fifth day after Diwali every year. During these 7 days, Gujaratis travel across India and you will find no tourist place in India which doesn’t have a single Gujarati visiting it.
For the entire 2020 due to COVID-19 fear and strict SOPs in place, not many Gujaratis were able to travel for the entire year, let alone Diwali. Now that COVID-19 cases are on the decline and things seem to be under control after more people have taken two doses of their anti-COVID vaccines it looks that Gujaratis are back to normal when it comes to traveling during Diwali vacations.
Latest reports in the local media suggest that more than 25 lakh people have traveled across Gujarat during Diwali days, and their preferred destinations were Pavagadh, Gir forest, and Somnath Jyotirling. Apart from that Statue of Unity situated in South Gujarat, was also one of the most populist places during last week.
Pavagadh saw more than 6 lakh tourists and Gir forest got more than 30 thousand visitors during the last five days. In 4 days more than 2 lakh people visited the Statue of Unity (SOU) as well. The White Rann of Kutchh and Dholavira the heritage site too attracted lakhs of people during these festive days. Not only Gujarat but the neighboring state like Rajasthan also benefitted from Gujarati travelers. Mouth Abu and Udaipur were filled with Gujarati tourists during three days of Diwali vacations as per the reports.
It is not only the local economy that got a boost from lakhs of tourists but the Gujarat State Transport (GST) too saw a huge surge in ticket bookings, especially on the day of Bhai Beej (Bhai Dooj). GST got more than 90 thousand bookings in advance on their website in the last week and it earned them Rs 1.89 crore in just three days of Diwali, Gujarati New Year, and Bhai Beej.
All in all, after one year of getting locked inside their homes Gujaratis, have finally found their interest in traveling back, it seems.