IPL-4 fails to stir up travel and hospitality sector

Debabrata Das Mumbai | Updated on April 23, 2011

With the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning barely a week after the World Cup, fans had little time to savour India's victory. The effects are being felt by the travel and hospitality sector.

IPL-linked bookings have been slow to take off, as cricket enthusiasts are still getting over the World Cup win, say travel booking agencies, hoteliers and restaurants.

“The IPL kicked off just a week after the World Cup ended. After India's victory, people were not too interested to see the likes of Dhoni and Tendulkar play on opposing teams. So, definitely, the World Cup hangover has affected the bookings during this IPL season which have been significantly lower than last year,” Vyoum Ghai, Joint Secretary, National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) told Business Line.

He added that business has been steady, but the IPL has not added to it.

Another member of the NRAI added that the spike in business during weekends which was seen during previous seasons of the IPL, has not been witnessed this season.

“During IPL-3 we frequently saw a very good response to the IPL special deals we were offering. Most weekends would see a spike of 50-60 per cent in the occupancy at restaurants. This is missing during IPL-4,” said another member of the NRAI.

No IPL buzz in travel

Travel agencies are also reporting that the IPL has not led to an increase in business. Travel activity is seen to be positive only in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh and even in these cities, the growth over last year is seen to be in single digit numbers.

“So far, we haven't seen any drastic changes due to the on-going IPL. Travel to four out of seven cities where IPL matches are being held is showing marginal growth. The per sector yield to these cities have also gone up. But this could also be attributed by the increase in fuel surcharge,” said Mr Sunny Sodhi, Vice-President- Air Product,

“During the Cricket World Cup customised packages with match tickets and airport transfers were very popular. Such packages are missing for IPL-4. IPL has also not led to any extraordinary bookings. Of the four cities where bookings have gone up, two (Delhi and Mumbai) are traditionally busy. Chandigarh has picked up because summer vacations are coming and the same with Bangalore,” said a Delhi-based travel agent.

Published on April 23, 2011

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