After a year of strong demand, Covid comes back to haunt travel industry


If 2022 was a ‘work from anywhere’ year, 2023 will be a ‘bucket list’ year, with Indian travelers ticking dream destinations on their bucket lists, say industry experts.

However, industry players remain cautious amid fears of a new covid-19 variant and inflationary pressures.

The year 2022 began with international travel bans, interstate travel restrictions and covid-19 protocols. Much has changed since then with the gradual easing of restrictions, but rising fuel prices, higher airfares, eroded margins and fluctuating customer sentiment have held the travel industry back.

In 2022, domestic travel was close to 80-90 percent of the pre-Covid period, while the international travel segment was almost 70-80 percent of pre-Covid levels, according to various players. line of business he has spoken

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“Travelers are back with a vengeance, driven by strong strong demand, improved confidence levels and the lifting of restrictions in an increasing number of destinations. Traveling in large groups with family and friends is also on the rise with the global relaxation of travel restrictions,” explained Aloke Bajpai, Ixigo Group CEO and Co – the founders

Data from the analytics company Sciatic Solutions show that the demand for intercity travel has increased by 180-200% compared to the previous year, supporting the industry’s optimism, especially in the bus travel segment. The Indian traveler is more ready than ever to explore destinations within the country, thanks to work-from-anywhere that has given people the flexibility to choose the workplace of their choice, a company spokesperson said.

In the air travel segment, Indian travelers were not deterred by the higher prices, with the average price of a round-trip economy flight at around ₹ 15,840, an increase of around 52 percent compared to 2019. About ₹36,834, an increase of about 59 percent, while a return long-haul economy flight was about ₹80,006 — an increase of about 59 percent, Kayak data showed.

Indians showed their desire to discover new destinations and new destinations on their travel lists. Travelers also favored bigger, grander and more adventurous getaways.

“Spiritual and cultural destinations like Varanasi have seen over 50 per cent increase in train travel queries this year. Andhra Pradesh’s Tirumala-Tirupathi has seen one of the biggest returns this year with over 200 per cent increase in train search queries for summer travel,” said Ixigo. .

Industry players are ending the year on a bittersweet note. While the travel industry is forecast to continue on an upward trajectory, fears of a new variant of Covid and inflationary pressures are forecast to remain a concern in 2023.

Agoda’s digital travel platform Family Travel Trend 2022 survey reveals that four out of five travelers will take a holiday with their immediate family in the next 12 months.

Expenditure model

Research by Booking.com reveals that 75% of Indian travelers will continue to prioritize holidays, but will look for more bang for their buck, with 69% planning to spend less than in the past.

Recent consumer research conducted by KAYAK.co.in found that two-thirds of Indian travelers said they were willing to cut back on daily spending to offset travel expenses.

Despite optimism and growth surpassing pre-Covid levels, 77% of travelers expressed concern about international borders while abroad.

Travelers in recently opened markets, including South Korea and Japan, are concerned, compared with those in markets that quickly lifted border restrictions, including the US, Australia and India, Agoda said.



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