City-based private tour operators said that people who had booked packaged tours to the Valley well in advance during the coming Durga Puja holidays have canceled them owing to the recent floods.

"Packaged tours to Kashmir are always in demand and people mostly book tickets during the Pujas. In fact this year too we had almost 80 percent booking done. But the recent floods in Kashmir have spoiled everything. Since then people have been canceling bookings for Kashmir," a spokesman for Continental Travels said.

In fact, people are heading to Shimla, Nainital, Dehradun as an alternate option of Kashmir.

The worst floods to hit Jammu and Kashmir in over a century have left nearly 300 people dead, besides causing widespread devastation.

Other tour operators like Akanta Apan Tours and Unique Holidays in the city also faced cancellation of bookings.

According to these tour operators, the tourists are this time rooting for Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim instead of Kashmir.

Bookings for packaged tours to Vizag, Araku Valley, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also in high demand.

"At least 30 percent people are heading towards south India. And this trend is on the rise. Rajasthan is also another place where Bengalis are visiting mostly," Akanta Apan Tours said.

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