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Goa slips off No. 1 tourist spot for New Year | Pics

Dec 31, 2008 09:33 AM IST India India

New Delhi: It's that time of year when those lucky enough to get time off make travel plans. This year, not as many people heading to Goa as last year but there's a surprise entry in the list of top domestic new year destinations. The surprise entry at No. 1 is the land of sand dunes, Rajasthan. The rise of boutique hotels in the area is said to be the reason behind the state’s ranking. Following closely at No. 2 are Kerala's backwaters and house boat parties that have Indians swinging to its tunes. The ever-famous Goa has slipped to No. 3 because of almost 30 per cent cancellations after the recent terror attacks. Arjun Sharma of travel agency Lepassage says, “Regional factor is at play with people opting for destinations closer home and affordability is a key factor”. A look at the world map show more Indians are opting for short haul destinations. At No. 1 is Singapore with tourists giving close competitor Bangkok a miss after the recent scare at the airport and the anti government protests there. Dubai is at No. 2 due to easy visa access and value for money. The surprise entry at No. 3 is Australia as more and more travellers realise that breezy summery weather in Australia at this time of the year is perfect to unwind. “These destinations are offering great value for money with discounts ranging from 30-50% discount,” says Sharma. But the economic downturn and the recent terror attacks have played party poopers this festive season. With domestic travel down by 30 per cent and international travel down by 15-20 per cent, this new year will be stripped off its usual frolic.