As India prepares to lift flight restrictions, international hotel bookings surge

As India prepares to open international flights after a two-year hiatus, bookings have started to firm up in the hospitality sector – which includes hotels, travel aggregators and other service providers allies.

Trends visible between mid-March and the first week of April suggest that international corporate hotel bookings are increasing by 60% in major cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad, while flights to the States States are running at full capacity with at least a 20 percent fare increase.

Leisure travel by international visitors has yet to resume. October to March is usually the best time to travel here for foreign tourists.

Corporate reservations

International bookings come primarily from executives in segments such as IT and ITeS, and defence; monitored by FMCG teams and private investors. Requests from delegations and MICE segments – for international conferences – are also increasing.

Business class ticket sales and luxury bookings are on the rise, according to the country’s two largest travel aggregators, EasyMyTrip and MakeMyTrip.

“The recovery in business travel will closely follow the luxury travel segment, with the first phase being led by non-metro to metro travel followed by off-site group travel, dating, etc.,” Vipul said. Prakash, commercial director. Officer, MakeMyTrip.

Room rates go up

Room rates (corporate sector), in hotels, have increased slightly to 70% of pre-Covid levels; and is expected to cross pre-Covid level figures by the end of May, hoteliers say.

According to Srijan Vadhera, managing director of Conrad Bengaluru – part of the world’s second largest hotel chain, The Hilton Group – international corporate bookings are already at 60% of pre-Covid levels, with bookings being made two weeks in advance (versus the pre-Covid window of 30-45 days). If trends then continue by the end of April to mid-May, bookings should “return to pre-Covid levels”.

“The request is for premium rooms with access to the executive lounge and club facilities; or (for) suites where people can use one of the rooms for hybrid work (like a workspace). The suites are over 90% occupancy,” he said. Activity area.

Currently, suites are charged at 50% premium – demand coming from senior management, while executive rooms are charged at 35% premium (from senior and middle management).

Travel Trends in India

Indians, meanwhile, have started seeking short-haul destinations such as Dubai, Thailand, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, while long-haul destinations such as London, Paris and Amsterdam are seeing an increase in demand. The United States, Europe and Australia are also gaining popularity.

IATO President Rajiv Mehra said international bookings started to “come in” after March 27 and the restoration of e-Visa would further “fuel demand”. “Short-haul destinations will take priority, followed by long-haul destinations,” he said.

EaseMyTrip said it is seeing a 40-50% increase in advance flight ticket bookings for the coming months. “There is an increase in inquiries about sustainable tourism and international destinations that adopt environmentally friendly practices,” said Himank Tripathi, President of External Affairs, EaseMyTrip, adding that, “We expect May the pent-up demand for leisure travel continue through the summer.”

Flight trends

Indian carriers are also looking to open international operations. IndiGo, the country’s largest carrier, has already announced the resumption of flights to Thailand. It currently operates India – Thailand flights (to Bangkok and Phuket) under air bubble arrangements. From March 27, it will operate regular international operations.

Willy Boulter, chief commercial officer of IndiGo, said the resumption of flights will also depend on factors such as the arrival guidelines of various countries.

“We are keen to resume international operations at pre-Covid levels and plan to open new destinations in the near future and increase capacity on our existing routes as travel opens up,” he said. said, adding that achieving economies of scale in an environment where ATF and other fixed costs are constantly rising, “is getting difficult.”

Published on

March 24, 2022

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