Bookings in the travel industry are picking up pace, and 2022 will be another recovery year for the sector, Booking Holdings President and CEO Glenn Fogel said on Friday.

"It's been a difficult time for the travel industry for the last two years...But the interesting thing is that people always want to travel, the demand is going to be there. When things are safe, when the government restrictions are lifted, people are going to book right away," Fogel said while speaking at the Economic Times Global Business Summit (GBS) 2022.

Pent-up demand, vaccine acceptance, along with countries reopening borders, are fuelling demand, he said, adding in the US travel is really picking up, while in Asia it has been slower because of the Omicron variant.

"Bookings are picking up and we expect that 2022 will be another recovery year for the travel industry, and there may be some dips along the way, but overall we believe that travel is continuing to rebound stronger each year and demand will continue to increase.

"I am absolutely impressed by the Indian government and how many people have been vaccinated. The numbers are truly impressive and credit goes to the government of India," he said.

Talking about corporate travel, Fogel said it is bouncing back, however, companies are being careful about it.

"Corporate travel is coming back now, but people are still being a little careful about it. It will go back to the pre-pandemic levels," he stated.

Role of technology

Fogel said, tech innovation plays a crucial role in rebuilding traveller confidence and there will be accelerated use of different technologies.

Technology, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), is helping travellers regain their spontaneity and confidence while assisting people to travel safely and responsibly, he said.

"We believe that we can use technology to make travel easier and by using all the things we know, making it seamless, frictionless, and making it personalised. We believe that technology can make things so much better," he added.