Gujarat gears up for Diwali celebration, Tour and Travel business up

By  Abdul hafiz lakhani

Our Correspondent, Ahmedabad

Festival of lights –Dipawali is very much on cards in Gujarat. This state celebrates this week long festival with much funfare and vigour. Gujaratis are known for their business skills and they also know how to spend the money. For them , Diwali is the most enjoyable time in the whole year. fire crackers, Rangolies, latest Diwas are on the sale now.”Business activities will stand still in Gujarat after Diwali.

Diwali is the last day of the Gujarati calendar. Gujaratis open shops and offices on New Year morning for pooja and enjoy vacation for five days till Panchami. However, it is going to be little longer this year, even for the salaried class. Gujarat accounts for 5% of India’s population and 17% of the country’s fixed capital investment and 22% of exports.In October, Adani Wilmar, which markets the Fortune brand, sold a record 1 lakh tonne of edible refined oil, which is 35.7% higher than its September sales. Now, the company management has decided to shut three of its 18 mills for five days during Diwali. “Our team worked extra hours in October to push sales so that they can enjoy Diwali holidays. In advance, we supplied adequate stock of edible oil to the market to ensure availability in peak season,” said Adani Wilmar CEO Angshu Mallick.

However, not every FMCG player in Gujarat is going on holiday. For instance, Diwali brings no relief for employees of cooperative dairy giant Amul.

According to a top official of one of the electricity distribution companies of Gujarat, demand for power goes down by close to 20% as industries and commerce barely operate during Diwali week. For instance, Surat’s 4.5 lakh diamond workers, who cut and polish 90% of world’s diamonds, are going on a three-week long vacation starting this weekend. They have already completed a bulk of the work for exports to the US and Europe for the Christmas season.

The Mumbai-headquartered Cotton Association of India (CAI) also announced a three-day Diwali holiday for the first time. “Till last year, trade used to remain shut only on Diwali and Gujarati New Year. However, we will not work on Bhai Beej as employees should enjoy the festival when Gujarat-based traders and buyers are not working. To avoid any holdback, we have already completed necessary procedures for exports and deliveries of raw stocks,” said CAI president Dhiren Sheth. All the commodity markets will remain shut during the week in the state.According to tour operators, the trend of festive travelling is growing exponentially. Despite spiralling airfare and high room charges in hotels, people are travelling. “Due to floods in Kashmir, the traffic has moved on to destinations like Shimla and Kerala,” said a city-based tour operator.

“This year we are seeing exotic short haul locales like Abu Dhabi, Oman, Uzbekistan and Philippines getting place in travel list of Amdavadis. Short-haul favourites like Thailand, Dubai and Singapore, which offer easy access of an under 5-hour flight, have witnessed a 25-40% rise in hotel bookings for this weekend,” added Phadkar.

According to the travel agents, a positive outcome of the depreciating rupee has led to the renewed interest in domestic tourism.


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