Eid travel has witnessed a remarkable surge in bookings, despite higher airfares and hotel tariffs, with online travel agencies (OTAs) reporting a 40-50 per cent year-on-year increase. This boost in travel can be attributed to the convergence of Bakri Eid, the Hajj pilgrimage, and an extended weekend, creating an atmosphere conducive to religious observance and leisurely getaways.

Bakri Eid is scheduled for June 29. During this time, many celebrants traditionally return to their hometowns to partake in the festivities. Additionally, between June 26 and July 1, numerous individuals embark on the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. As this period is a gazetted holiday, it attracts young salaried travel enthusiasts who seise the opportunity to plan a quick weekend getaway, maximising their travel experience by combining the holiday with Friday.

The travel industry has experienced a surge in searches and bookings, as reported by key players in the sector. Yatra.com has witnessed a 35-40 per cent increase, while Cleartrip has seen an overall increase of 56 per cent in segments related to Eid compared to the previous year. Ixigo, on the other hand, reported a 16 per cent increase in bookings compared to the previous year’s Bakri Eid period. Yatra.com and EaseMyTrip have also observed a 50 per cent and 44 per cent increase, respectively, in travel searches during this period.

The demand for domestic destinations like Lucknow has skyrocketed, with bookings surging by over 124 per cent this Eid, according to Aloke Bajpai, Co-Founder, Group CEO & Managing Director of ixigo. Gaurav Patwari, VP - Air Category at Cleartrip, noted a 2x growth in destinations such as Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Ahmedabad. This increased travel can be attributed to the overall rise in travel this year compared to the previous year.

Ixigo revealed that travellers are opting for short-haul international destinations for 4-5 day vacations, such as Dubai, Mauritius, and the Maldives, for Eid travel this year.

However, despite the surge in bookings, there are a few downsides for travellers. Booking windows have shortened, with travellers tending to book tickets closer to their travel dates. Consequently, airfares and hotel tariffs have become extremely expensive, which is a challenge for those planning their trips.

As the Eid travel season progresses, it is expected that the number of bookings will continue to rise. The combination of Bakri Eid, the Hajj pilgrimage, and the extended weekend has created a vibrant atmosphere for religious observance and leisurely travel, enticing individuals to explore new destinations or reconnect with their roots. Although higher prices may pose a challenge, the allure of experiencing cultural festivities and embarking on memorable vacations remains strong for travellers during this period.