Travel and hospitality sector shows signs of strong recovery after being hit by Covid-19 – The New Indian Express

Express press service

After struggling for more than two years due to covid-19-induced restrictions, the travel and hospitality industry is showing signs of strong revival. According to data released by travel service providers, there has been a surge in flight and hotel bookings in recent weeks, with the peak summer holiday season heading towards pre -covid.

“In the majority of holiday destinations, hotels record more than 80% of room reservations. So yes, there is optimism among industry players and the upcoming holiday season looks promising,” said Pradeep Shetty, Honorary Co-Secretary of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of the United Kingdom. India (FHRAI) to TNIE. He added that footsteps were gradually showing signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels and that rates had also returned to where they were two years ago.

Talking about the factors driving the growth, Shetty said: “The resumption of international commercial flights at 100% capacity as well as the tendency of domestic tourists to retaliate has been one of the main factors. Apart from this, hotel room rates across the country have been heavily reduced which has also proved to be an incentive for domestic travelers. Even the events segment, including exhibitions, meetings and conferences, has come back strong. »

Online travel booking platform EaseMyTrip said on Thursday it had seen an increase of up to 50% in advance flight ticket bookings for the upcoming summer period and the long weekend. beginning on Good Friday. He added that due to pent-up demand and the removal of travel restrictions across the world, the Indian travel industry is in strong recovery.

The listed company also said it saw a 20-30% increase in international travel forward bookings for the months of May and June. According to EaseMytTrip, domestic destinations such as Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Goa are among the most popular, while international destinations such as Dubai, Maldives, Thailand, and the United States are in high demand.

Data released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation also indicates that domestic traffic is heading towards the pre-covid level. The number of domestic departing passengers has been hovering around 3.50 lakh mark per day for the past week with almost 3.93 lakh passengers taking domestic flights on April 14, just below the pre-covid figure of 4 lakh daily departures.

The international movement is also recovering with nearly 64,000 departures from India on 371 flights as of April 15. countries… All in all, this summer should be the season for the resumption of travel before the pandemic.

OYO said this week it received over 3.10 lakh bookings for the last festive weekend (Navratri, Durga Puja and Ashtami), its biggest booking so far in 2022, and surpassing weekend bookings for peak days such as Republic Day, Holi, and Valentine’s Day.

Upcoming roadblocks
The industry, however, is wary of rising airfares due to the sharp rise in jet fuel prices since the start of this year and the escalating Russian-Ukrainian war. According to experts, there has been a 20-40% increase in domestic and international airfares, which certainly has an impact on budget tourists.

Inflation in March was almost 7%, and the same was reflected in transport and communications inflation. Fuel prices increased by 7.5% while transport and communications inflation increased by 8%. Unless the government steps in and reduces taxes on fuel prices, the burden of inflation could only weigh on discretionary spending like travel and touring.

Add to that, a slow recovery in Covid-19 cases in Delhi-NCR is being watched closely by the industry as the last thing they want is another wave of Covid-19 infections. But the industry hopes that the resumption of travel and tourism activities will continue uninterrupted.

Shetty said that right now travel is active on all fronts, including business travel, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), social gatherings and events, business travel pleasure, stays, short trips and vacation and adventure trips, among others. If the trend continues without any “break”, the industry will see a good recovery in fiscal 2023, Shetty added.

According to FHRAI, in FY21, the hospitality industry suffered losses of more than `1.30 lakh crore ($17.65 billion) in revenue while rating agency ICRA estimated the losses from the aviation industry at `42,000 crore in the last two fiscal years (FY21 and FY22). Other pockets of the tourism sector have also seen massive losses from the pandemic, leading to nearly 21.5 million job losses, according to government data.