Home Hotel industry Expect a 60-70% growth in hotel bookings and a 30% resumption of flights this festive season: Yatra.com | INTERVIEW

Expect a 60-70% growth in hotel bookings and a 30% resumption of flights this festive season: Yatra.com | INTERVIEW

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After two years of lackluster travel sentiment across the country and the world, this festive season has boosted traveler confidence in India and more consumers are feeling positive about advance bookings , said Nitika Khanna, Vice President – Brand Strategy, Yatra.com. “At Yatra.com, we expect growth of around 60-70% in hotel bookings and a recovery of around 30% for flights. We have seen an increase in booking inquiries for the festive season starting Diwali, leading into Christmas and New Years,” she told FinancailExpress.com. This is despite an increase of up to 25% in airfares for some routes over the Diwali long weekend. In a conversation with Tanya Krishna, Nitika Khanna spoke about the expected growth of all components of travel in the coming months, consumer inclination for leisure travel, growth in international flight bookings And much more.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

Are you witnessing a shift towards more leisure travel versus budget travel? Elaborate.

As we prepare to celebrate the festivities and look forward to a great holiday season, there has been increased demand among consumers to travel with friends and family. After a long Covid-led hiatus, people are now opting for leisure travel and once-in-a-lifetime experiences over budget travel. They want to invest more for a rich experience, national destinations, luxury hotels and heritage properties, among others. In the post-pandemic era, consumer travel sentiment has seen a major shift. This shift has given a much-needed boost to various travel trends such as staycations and long weekends and has resulted in many work stays, experiential trips, and bookings closer to travel dates, among others.

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What sort of revival do you expect this festive season? What percentage increase in bookings are you currently seeing (for flights and hotels)?

This festive season is expected to further propel the growth of the travel and hospitality industry as travel demand peaks amid the festive holidays. At Yatra.com, we expect growth of around 60-70% in hotel bookings and a recovery of around 30% for flights. In addition, we also expect growth of around 20% in all travel components over the next few months.

Which cities and regions in India are currently seeing the most bookings?

We have seen a significant increase in hotel bookings for destinations such as Goa and Andaman, as well as various hill stations across the country such as Manali, Dalhousie, Saputara, Mount Abu, Ooty, Chikmagalur, Gangtok and Shillong. The top domestic destinations seeing an increase in air travel bookings are Mumbai and Bangalore.

How do religious destinations currently fare compared to beach destinations or mountain resorts?

India has a rich and diverse tourism potential, and its religious heritage provides a unique tourism opportunity. While religious tourism is one of the biggest travel sectors in India, we are witnessing significant traction for various hill stations this season. Religious travel will always be at the heart of domestic travel in India and will continue to be one of the top destinations for booking enquiries.

Tell us about the percentage growth in the number of Indians booking flights to international destinations. What are the popular destinations right now?

Pent-up demand for international travel has led to the revival of India’s outbound and inbound travel segments. Payment options such as now pay later trips and toll-free IMEs are further boosting people’s international travel desires considerably by making it affordable and accessible. At Yatra.com, we have seen a 40% growth in flight bookings for international destinations such as Sydney, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, we have seen an increase in inbound booking inquiries and demand from various international locations such as the Middle East, UAE, Muscat and Singapore.

What kind of investment have you made in digital media presence? How does it work for you?

To connect with our internet savvy consumers and create conversations around our ongoing festive discounts, we have planned several digital campaigns. To kick off this season’s campaigns, we launched #KhushiyonKiYatra where we offer attractive offers of up to 25% off flights, hotels, vacations and buses. At Yatra.com, we have collaborated with several influencers to popularize #KhushiyonKiYatra as well as engage consumers and raise awareness of ongoing festive offers. We also partner with various banking and fintech partners, hotel chains and airlines to bring the best deals to travelers. Additionally, we also offer exciting features such as interest-free EMI, payday sale and attractive holiday season banking offers for travelers to help them plan their trip better.