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Covid-19 resurgence strikes blow to tourism industry

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on April 04, 2021

Leisure trips drop during the Holi-Easter weekend

Gurugram-based Shruthi Muddaiah was excited about her family’s nine-day trip to Darjeeling and Gangtok spanning the two long Holi and Good Friday holidays.

However, the rising Covid-9 cases across the country put paid to her plans as she decided to cancel the trip.

The week starting March 29 to April 4, the perfect time for people to plan 3-day getaways or longer 8-10 day holidays, saw an 18 per cent dip in hotel bookings, compared to the previous week of March 22-28, as per insights from RateGain

RateGain is a SaaS firm that serves over 12,000 customers in the travel and hospitality industry across 191 plus countries.

Covid fears

Cities like Pondicherry saw a 53 per cent drop in bookings, while both Alwar and Delhi NCR saw a 51 per cent drop in bookings. Lucknow and Chandigarh were at -43 per cent and -41 per cent respectively; Shimla and Jaipur were at -39 per cent and -19 per cent respectively.

“One of the major reasons for the drop in bookings during a perfectly good time of the year to holiday is, the rise in coronavirus cases, as a result of which people want to avoid travelling. Since it is the end of the financial year, people are busy with their closings and another reason for families postponing travel is because of exams,” said Kamesh Shukla, EVP and head APMEA, RateGain.

According to Booking.com, Goa emerged as the most booked destination, while New Delhi and Jaipur were among the top three most booked destinations from Holi to Easter (March 27 to April 4). In addition to hotels, domestic travellers opted for resorts, guest houses and homestays.

IntrCity, the country’s largest tech-driven mobility brand with its SmartBus network, witnessed a marginal 1 per cent drop in national bookings in the week of March 29 to April 4 compared to the previous week. “The 1-per cent drop in bookings overall, is primarily driven by variability of demand in Punjab. However, we have seen 10-15 per cent month-on-month growth in March, specifically in the main business centres across 14 States where our fleet operates. This is because inter-city travel directly supports livelihoods, and staying at home is not an option for people. March also tends to be a relatively slower month from a travel perspective, and we expect the volumes to pick up in the latter part of April onwards,” said Kapil Raizada, co-founder IntrCity.

Published on April 04, 2021

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