Hotel bookings hit by Omicron will recover once international travel resumes: Report

NEW DELHI : India is set to see a recovery in hotel bookings as Covid-19 cases continue to ease, according to a new report. RateGain Travel Technologies, an NSE-listed software-as-a-service provider for travel and hospitality businesses, said the impact of travel demand in India’s two major cities Delhi and Mumbai, after the resumption of international travel on March 27, will be positive. The company said it expects India travel demand to grow 150% year-on-year in hubs like Delhi and Mumbai.

India, which has seen a sharp rise in cases which have declined in 4-5 weeks, recorded 40% higher bookings in February 2022 than in January 2022, and almost reaching the peak in December, according to the report. In January 2022, India saw a 40% drop in hotel bookings.

Compared to January, February saw a huge increase in bookings for destinations like Pondicherry, Mysore, Goa, Mumbai. Mumbai was the leader in metropolitan cities, followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, according to the report. Strong growth in Delhi and Mumbai suggests increased activity at international airports as well as a pick-up in business travel, the firm said.

Cities in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh saw a decline when national elections began in February 2022, leading to a decline in tourism and business activity. There was also a decline in most numbers from last year due to weddings being limited to 200 guests in most cities from January when omicron hit until the end of February. Schools and offices also resumed in most cities in February and as a result overall leisure travel during the month was much weaker.

International Travel Trends:

India, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Mexico show the weakest growth, as travel in February last year was already touching pre-Covid levels and therefore annual levels are not as high as in other countries. Travel growth in India was 10% in February 2022 compared to February 2021. In comparison, countries like France and Japan showed growth of 532% and 743% respectively.

European countries like France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK are showing the strongest recovery from last year when Covid restrictions were eased. Asian and American travelers are also expected to resume international travel for the first time in two years. With the exception of China, Hong Kong, where Covid cases are rising, and Russia, where international travel is banned, other countries are showing travel growth compared to last year.

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