More Indians ready to pack their bags this summer

Rising temperatures in India’s central and northern plains this summer have prompted tourists to rush to cooler hill climes or even distant beaches, with hotels and transport services seeing higher demand. higher than ever. One in two Indians want to travel this summer and a majority prefer leisure trips with hotel stays, according to an OYO survey. He added that more than 61% of Indian travelers plan to take vacations this summer and 94% prefer domestic trips.

According to booking trends available on different online portals and hotels, long weekends have become a boon with places like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Shimla, Mussoorie and Dehradun in northern India witnessing almost “sold properties”. with average room rates “comfortably violated.” the pre-pandemic figures of “10 to 15% at least”.

“Almost all international or branded hotels in the Rishikesh – Haridwar area have been fully booked over the past two or three weekends; and booking trends suggest so at least through May and June,” said an international hotel brand.

According to Akhil Arora, COO, Espire Hospitality Group, occupancy this year is at the same level as before Covid; while average room rates are 10% higher. The group owns properties located in Bhimtal and Jim Corbett.

Even with the rise in Covid-19 cases, business is hectic. “We’re not seeing a drop in travel right now,” he told BusinessLine.

Taking reservations

Summer bookings are geared towards Kashmir, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and northeastern destinations – Arunachal, Manipur and Tripura – as now popular destinations; while among international destinations, Dubai, the Maldives, Thailand and the United States are in demand.

“We have seen a significant increase in advance bookings for domestic and international travel in May and June as people travel for longer vacations,” said Himank Tripathi, President – External Affairs, EaseMyTrip, one of the country’s largest online travel portals.

Rajesh Magow, co-founder and CEO of MakeMyTrip, the country’s largest online travel portal, said recently that “flight bookings are back to pre-Covid levels” while the availability of easy financing options ( EMI, Buy Now – Pay Later, etc.) is driving demand in many cases.

Indians book long, short-term holidays, up to 30 days in advance, compared to previous bookings of 45-60 days; while weekend trips are booked in the first part of the same week.

Strong recovery

For April 2022, the average daily flight departures were 2,726, more than the approximately 2,000 average daily departures recorded during the April 2021 period; and up more than 5% from the 2,588 average daily departures reported in March 2022.

India’s carrier (airline) capacity deployment for April 2022 was 36% higher than April 2021 (81,777 departures in April 2022 compared to 59,967 departures in April 2021).

The average number of passengers per flight in April 2022 was 128, slightly lower than the pre-pandemic number of 135 passengers per flight in April 2019.

Domestic passenger traffic is up 83% on a yearly basis to 10.5 million in April 2022 and is only 5% lower (11.0 million in April 2019) than pre-Covid levels, said CIFAR in a report.

Pent-up request

Pent-up travel demand continues to be strong and this has been the trend in India since the Good Friday weekend in April this year.

According to Sheerang Godbole, SVP – Product and Chief Service Officer, OYO, during Good Friday and the week of Vishu, the company received 8 lakh bookings – the highest ever in 2022, surpassing New Year’s figures.

“Over the next two weeks, we expect this demand to increase further across all destinations. People are much more open to taking smaller breaks or even making travel reservations at the very last minute,” he said.

Published on

May 09, 2022

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