Travel industry sees a pickup in demand in run-up to festivals

By Saumya Tewari
Bookings for air, rail and road travel witnessed a significant jump for the long weekend of Ganesh Chaturthi  (Photo: Mint)

Travel demand has picked up in the run up to the festive season. Bookings for air, rail, and road travel witnessed a significant jump for the long weekend of Ganesh Chaturthi, which will be celebrated on 10 September.

Data released by travel portal EaseMyTrip, for instance, showed a 65% jump in forward air ticket bookings across India between 8 and 12 September, compared to the year-ago period. The over 15% rise in advance bookings from the top 10 cities, such as Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, and Mangalore for the period, indicated that people were more confident and willing to travel compared to last year.

Nishant Pitti, chief executive officer and co-founder, EaseMyTrip, said there were clear signs of pent-up demand during the festive season. “We are optimistic that travel bookings will pick up further in the coming months and peak during Dussehra and Diwali holidays. There has been a jump of over 400% in advance bookings in July-September for the Diwali week (4-7 November). It indicates a significant jump as people are utilizing the long weekends to celebrate their favourite festivals and plan a short holiday with their loved ones as well," he added.

Bus ticketing platform RedBus said an estimated 700,000 tickets have been sold, with Maharashtra and Gujarat witnessing a significant increase in bookings. Top destinations for the Ganesh Chaturthi weekend include Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad.

Prakash Sangam, chief executive, RedBus, said this time the surge in demand started seven days before Ganesh Chaturthi compared to five days last year. “People are booking more seats in advance this time, indicating greater certainty to travel. If we don’t witness a significant third wave, we expect to reach pre-covid demand on our platform by early next year. At the moment, Ganesh Chaturthi is helping revive demand for inter-city travel," he added.

Savaari Car Rentals also witnessed a rise in inter-state bookings for the weekend. “Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi we are witnessing a lot of traction from Karnataka and Maharashtra. We are seeing typical round-trip and leisure trip bookings, which indicate people are resuming travel. We are expecting 600% jump in bookings for the weekend over 2020," said Gaurav Aggarwal, founder and chief executive, Savaari Car Rentals.


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