Portals, tour operators and travel companies like MakeMyTrip, Yatra.com, ixigo Thomas Cook and SOTC say there has been a significant surge in hotel and flight bookings for the upcoming summer vacations compared to the same period last year.
Tour operators and travel agencies are expecting bookings to grow further with fare sales introduced by airlines like Indigo and Spicejet this month. ixigo, a travel search engine for flights and hotels, has seen a 41% jump in flight bookings in Jan-April for the summer season.
Major tourist destinations like Shimla, Manali, Leh and Ooty have seen a 56% rise in hotel bookings compared with last year on the portal. About 66% bookings for the upcoming summer vacations were made in February and March on ixigo, while 15% have been made in the first half of April. There has also been a 43% increase in solo travellers compared with the same period last year.
“Summer vacation bookings happened quite early this year as there were some airline sales in February and March. The last one week has also seen a good growth for travel bookings with summer sales of Indigo and other airlines,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO, ixigo.
MakeMyTrip saw a 39% increase in booking for the summer season from April-June. Mohit Gupta, COO, Hotels and Holidays, said: “There has been a substantial increase in the number of people travelling this summer, about 39% more,” said Gupta.
“Indians are widely opting for travelling to unexplored destinations and have been quite experimental with their travelling choices. There also has been a remarkable year-on-year increase in bookings coming from smartphones,” he said. Sharat Dhall, COO, B2C, Yatra-.com, said the portal has registered a noticeable increase in summer bookings for both flights and hotels and the usual tourist destinations.
“This is also the time when travellers go for long international breaks and those have also seen a rise,” Dhall said. International bookings went up by 25% over last year on SOTC. Popular destinations for Indian travellers through the tour operator are Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, France, and South Africa. Amod Thatte, head, product, contracting and innovation, SOTC Travel, said the company has also observed a spike in demand for Eastern European destinations like Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary and Asian destinations that offer visa on arrival for Indians.
The leisure business on Thomas Cook has registered a 20% jump in international holiday bookings and 40% in domestic bookings for the summer against the same period last year. The company also introduced new destinations such as Japan, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic.
“Our Grand Indian Holiday Sale served us well with enticing spot deals over a 10-day period. In addition, we rolled out our Thomas Cook goes local strategy to target smaller high-potential localities within a larger city area, and these weekend mega-sales in popular venues were another demand driver for us,” said Rajeev Kale, president, leisure travel, MICE, at Thomas Cook India.
Kale said the accommodation preferences of Indian travellers are also going through a shift with options like Airbnb and homestays/village stays seeing more takers. There is also an increased uptick for apartments.
Source: http://brandequity.economictimes.indiatimes.com, 12 May 2017
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