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HomeNewsIndia TourismICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023: Pioneering A New Era in India...

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023: Pioneering A New Era in India Tourism

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 marked a pivotal moment for India’s tourism, which not only attracted a diverse global audience but also spotlighted India’s cultural and infrastructural richness, solidifying its position as a premier destination on the world stage.

Unlocking New Growth Avenues

“Sports tourism is a rapidly growing sector in India with a substantial impact on domestic and international travel”, mentioned Santosh Kumar, Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia at Booking.com. “Cricket is one of the most popular sports in India, and the thrill of watching top-cricketing out on the field during the World Cup matches is a compelling reason for millions of cricket enthusiasts to travel.”

According to the Booking.com Travel Confidence Index, 56% of Indians look forward to attending a live or major event including sports tournaments this year. “Sporting events like the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 served as significant drivers for tourism, attracting tourists, stimulating the local economy, creating employment opportunities and driving investment in infrastructure (stadiums, restaurants etc.) that can be enjoyed by both the local population and tourists”, Kumar added.

On the same lines, Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip said, “Bookings for accommodation facilities, including hotels and homestays, in all cities where the Indian cricket team was slated to play, exhibited a significant uptrend. A firm trend line emerged that most consumers traditionally opted to reserve their accommodations closer to check-in dates. Having said that, a few cities clearly demonstrated that the cricket extravaganza will uplift domestic travel.”

Tourism Boom

For MakeMyTrip, matchday bookings in Ahmedabad experienced an uptick, with a 200% increase in accommodation bookings, including hotel and homestays, over the city’s average daily room night bookings in August 2023. Reservations in Dharamshala on the match date escalated by an astounding 605% above the on-platform daily average in Aug 2023. “Meanwhile, bookings for India match dates in Lucknow increased 50% for the same comparative and grew alongside other centers closer to match dates. Notably, homestays, traditionally favored in leisure destinations, enjoyed strong interest across all cities hosting matches”, revealed Magow.

He further added, “Ahmedabad has witnessed an impressive 800% increase in bookings, followed by Dharamshala with a 488% rise, and Lucknow with a 340% surge. Bookings in Chennai and Delhi has also grown significantly. Cricket fans looked for varied alternate accommodation options. Cricket fans also traveled in groups as >8 pax bookings have increased by 12%.”

According to him, the advance purchase window for homestays had increased in cities hosting matches. Previously, only 13% of bookings were made in advance (30+ days prior to check-in), as compared to 22% for the cricket tournament. October check-in bookings also demonstrated longer average lengths of stay, particularly in hostels and homestays, with hostels increasing from 1.6 to 2.3 nights and Homestays from 2.1 to 2.4 nights, mentioned Magow.

According to Booking.com data, host cities in India for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 saw a surge in demand. From October 1 to November 20, 2023, five of the top ten most searched domestic flight destinations in India are match cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. Additionally, seven of the top 10 most searched domestic destinations for accommodations by Indian travelers during this period include the host cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Besides hotels, cricket enthusiasts also explored alternative accommodations during the matches such as homestays, guest houses, and apartments.

Building Capacities & Promotional Strategy

As India hosted the season’s grandest event, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, accommodation options were seen to dwindle fast in the host cities, with prices soaring to unprecedented heights for hotels and guesthouses alike. With the resurgence of corporate travel, MICE events, leisure, and the Cricket World Cup, the demand for hotel rooms in key cities surged substantially.

Considering the tourism surge for the Cricket World Cup, MakeMyTrip unlocked the strategy of building consideration for Homestays and Villas as shared space to meet the uptick in demand. To supplement the same, MakeMyTrip strengthened supply across all match venues, with a specific focus on Ahmedabad, where inventory increased by 31%, followed by Dharamshala (15%) and Lucknow (14%). Also, MakeMyTrip took a unique approach of indulging popular cricket superfans from across the globe as quality assurance ambassadors. Superfans tested and validated MakeMyTrip’s curated homestays and villas in the campaign.

Booking.com, the official Accommodation Partner for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, launched a global integrated campaign, ‘Howzat for your perfect stay’ featuring Indian team captain Rohit Sharma along with renowned international cricketers Jos Buttler, captain of the England cricket team and Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The campaign was being showcased in stadiums, on the ground and across various social and digital channels, including TV, Disney+ Hotstar, and more.






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