April 19, 2022
Hotels are seeing over 80% of bookings across a majority of tourist spots
International travel is gaining momentum with nearly 64,000 departures from India
The events industry, which includes exhibitions, meetings, and conferences, has picked up pace
The travel industry is wary of rising airfares due to a sharp jump in jet fuel prices
The tourism and hotel sector is exhibiting signs of a robust rebound after being negatively affected for over two years by Covid-19-induced restrictions. According to the data by travel providers, there has been a significant increase in flight and hotel bookings during the recent weeks, with the peak summer holiday season approaching pre-Covid levels.
Hotels are seeing over 80% of bookings across a majority of tourist spots, according to an expert from the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), and the traffic is steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels, with rates reverting to what they were two years ago.
The expert attributed the uptick to the reopening of international commercial flights at full capacity, as well as the rate of domestic tourists returning to normal. Hotel room rates being drastically lowered around the country, serving as an additional incentive for domestic travelers. The events industry, which includes exhibitions, meetings, and conferences, has also gradually picked up pace.
Recently, a popular online travel portal reported a 50% rise in advance air ticket purchases for the summer and long weekend commencing Good Friday. It has also witnessed a 20-30% jump in advance bookings for international travel for May and June.
According to data released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, domestic departure passenger counts have been documented at approximately 350,000 for the past week, with roughly 393,000 passengers flying domestic flights on April 14, touching the pre-Covid ballpark of 400,000 daily departures.
The same data has also mentioned that International travel is recovering with nearly 64,000 departures from India on 371 flights as of April 15.
According to a major hotel aggregator, the festive weekend which had Navaratri and Durga Puja drew more than 310,000 bookings, outnumbering high travel days such as Republic Day, Holi, and Valentine’s Day. The aggregator said that this was its biggest number of bookings in 2022, so far.
Points of concern
The travel industry, however, is wary of rising airfare due to a sharp jump in jet fuel prices, since the beginning of this year. According to experts, there has been a 20-40% increase in domestic and international flight tickets which will impact budget-conscious tourists.
The hospitality industry has witnessed a reduction in revenues of more than US $17.65 billion in FY21, according to FHRAI, while the airline industry INR 42,000 crore in FY21 and FY22, according to rating agency ICRA.