The promised surge in the number of international travellers may not have happened as promised by the government and industry groups, but Delhi's denizens appear to have been overcome by wanderlust.
And the travel industry is laughing all the way to the bank because the outbound business has more than made up for loss of international business.
"We were hoping to welcome international tourists but the situation turned around," Deepak Narula, CEO, Aman Travels, said.
"We had never expected the boom in outbound business during September- October. Compared to last year, outbound bookings this October went up by 125 per cent," Narula added.
Echoing the sentiment, Rajinder Rai, president of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), said contrary to the government's projection of 100,000 international tourists checking in during the Commonwealth Games (CWG), " just 10,000" have shown up.
" We were let down by international tourists," Rai said, " but Delhiites ensured we've a third holiday season - the CWG - this year."
Rai said the travel trade had expected a few people to use this opportunity to take a break, but the fear of traffic snarls coupled with schools and colleges being shut have spurred Delhites to head out. And their favourite destination this season is Singapore.
Data provided by TAAI indicate that two new casinos - Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa - and the perennially attractive amusement parks have combined to ensure Singapore's popularity this season.
Marina Bay Sands, priced $ 5.9 billion (Rs 26,000 crore), is the world's second most expensive casino after the MGM Mirage City Center in Las Vegas.
Narula confirms this trend. " My Singapore- based operator thanked me and said that because of the Games he was doing great business," Narula said, adding that the travel trade was quick to sense a business opportunity and roll out weekend packages.
"The extended school vacation has provided Delhiites with an opportunity to plan overseas breaks," said Atul Dhir, director of Prakhar Travels. Besides, they sold more than 100 Thailand packages to high- end clients.
"The Games did give us a reason to smile, but we have Delhiites to thank for that," he added.
School holidays have spurred domestic tourism We were hoping to welcome foreign tourists but the situation turned around.
We had never expected the boom in outbound business during Sept-Oct.