Domestic corporate travel bookings have recovered between 40 and 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and trends suggest a further rise, said Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip. MakeMyTrip, listed on Nasdaq, is India’s largest online travel portal.
While domestic flight bookings are up at pre-pandemic levels and are in for a growth phase, international travel is currently at around 20-25 per cent of the pre pandemic levels.
“The good thing is we are moving from a phase of recovery to a phase of growth now. The domestic corporate travel segment is picking up and is somewhere at 40-50 per cent of pre-Covid levels. Both corporates and SMES have taken to travel and conferences too are happening,” he told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a FICCI event.
“International travel will take a little more time to recover. It is now at 20-25 per cent levels [of pre-pandemic levels],” Magow added.
Consumer sentiments remain on the positive side. MakeMyTrip has nearly 1,650 large and mid-sized corporate clients and over 30,000 SME clients. It also acquired a corporate travel booking start-up, Quest2Travel, in 2019.
Domestic travel outlook According to Magow, hotels are already witnessing a recovery and are going back to pre-pandemic levels. “Recoveries in hotels are like domestic flights segment.... back at pre-pandemic levels on a yearly run-rate basis,” he said.
The opening up of international travel will see some impact on demand across local destinations, which previously was the mainstay during the pandemic. International destinations like Thailand, among others, are witnessing increased demand across online travel portal bookings.
However, an increase in travel is expected from Tier III to Tier V towns where travel is picking up. The availability of travel loans, buy now pay later options, EMI availability on bookings and other easy finance options, will help spur domestic demand.
Nearly 52 per cent people do not mind taking a travel loan, while 75 per cent are more likely to spend on travel, according to a consumer insight survey by MakeMyTrip.
“Shorter duration travel or weekend trips will stay and trends suggest a pick-up. Believe it or not, people are willing to do more than three to five holidays a year. Women travelling or solo travel is up, too,” he said.