The travel and hospitality industry had witnessed yet another blow due to the second wave which resulted in localized lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions on the movement of people. Consequently, travel was at an all-time low with individuals limiting movement to essential and important travel.
The decreasing number of cases in the last few weeks coupled with easing of lockdown is expected to improve confidence among travelers in the coming days. Additionally, with individuals getting vaccinated, there are many reasons to be optimistic as travel intent climbs up. The rollout of vaccines, several initiatives introduced by Government and key stakeholders and travelers making informed decisions has led to an uptick in travel demand in the past weeks.
Some of the key trends observed are-
Revenge Travel: Travellers are making the most of the unlock days and planning trips and getaways in an attempt to revenge travel as they were deprived of that possibility for a period of time.
Staycation Trends: Covid-19 has benefited this segment the maximum. We have witnessed a trend shift wherein as per current trend, Saturdays are the peak followed by Fridays and Sundays for properties with good staycation options. For premium 5 stars in metros, occupancy patterns have reversed between weekends and weekdays.
Workcation: As consumers shifted to a virtual world and managed their work from remote locations, there has been a rise in trends like workcations where people are planning their trips to locations with a good internet connection to work from anywhere while travelling to their hearts fill.
Shorter booking window: Booking closer to the travel date is another trend we have been witnessing where travellers prefer to book closer to the travel dates due to uncertainty of travel restrictions.
Travel to drivable Distance: Accommodation which is secluded and less commercial is also gaining traction among consumers who are looking at destinations that provide quiet and calm, are at a drivable distance, and are away from the hustle of city life. These destinations are gaining popularity as they provide perfect respite during long weekends.
4-star & 5-star Hotels: Consumer preference for hotels with stringent safety and sanitization processes has increased. Hence, there has been a rise in bookings for 4- & 5-star hotel properties. Moreover, The percentage of booking for prime 4 & 5 star are much higher than other categories of the hotels or accommodation options.
Safety & Hygiene priority: Travelers are looking at the assurance that all necessary measures are being taken at each touchpoint of travel while booking at the destination. They are still cautious regarding the sanitization and safety measures adopted and are enquiring about it while booking. Yatra has also launched ‘Clean Pass’ which ensures all safety measures are in place across its partner hotels, cabs, and bus service providers in India. ‘Yatra Service Assured Packages’ for travelers, ensures that all precautionary and sanitization measures are in place in the partner hotels.
At Yatra.com, we have witnessed a spike in terms of bookings and accommodations-
A healthy increase in booking inquiries especially from metro cities such as New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai
Travelers are making bookings for short-haul leisure destinations like Lonavala, Shimla, Agra, Manali, Saputara among others
Travel to and from Tier 2 cities has seen an uptick
On the accommodation front, hotels have started receiving bookings from customers over the weekend, and a few destinations have seen a 50% rise there.
Sabina Chopra, Co-Founder and COO, Corporate Travel & Head Industry Relations, Yatra.com, said, “The second wave of the pandemic has significantly impacted travel and tourism sector across the country. With the ongoing vaccination process in the country, people are more confident about booking for travels which will provide a boost to the industry. We have witnessed that the turnaround time for travel bookings has been considerably quicker as compared to last year. Travellers are more mindful of the destinations and properties they choose, opting for accommodation options following stringent procedures of safety and sanitization measures and hotels are also doing their due diligence by checking COVID test reports.”