It is party time, but better be out of city!

Mumbai: In order to avoid traffic snarls and the long queues outside restaurants or clubs on New Year's Eve, Mumbaikars preferred to head out of the city for celebrations.

As a result, restaurant owners said, their business took a beating by 20 to 30 per cent.

Shivanand Shetty, president, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), said: “There was a 20 per cent decline in bookings for New Year’s Eve, as against that last year. Many people prefer to get out of the city to be away from the maddening traffic or just throw house parties.”

Despite the state government allowing eateries and hotels to operate till 5 am on December 24, 25 and 31, the hotelier said he fears slow business on the final night of the year.

“Hardly any establishments were open till 5 am on Christmas. We fear it will be the same on December 31. They also reported a dip in bookings for New Year’s Eve,” said a restaurant owner.

Anjali Singh, a resident of Navy Nagar who has been celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends in Mumbai for the last two years, decided to celebrate it outside the city this time. “Most of the places in the city are overcrowded, and they charge exorbitantly. So, the better option is to book a bungalow or villa for celebrations. In the city, we have to face traffic congestion and waste a lot of time. But if we celebrate in a hired bungalow, we do not have to think of traffic or any rules and regulations,” she said.

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