Following the pandemic, the the travel industry experienced an exceptional increase in the number of reservations. The sector that suffered massive losses during the lockdown is set to see significant growth as COVID-19[feminine] restrictions were eased and people were vaccinated.

To talk about this phenomenon, Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and group CEO, ixigo, and Himank Tripathi, President – External Affairs, EaseMyTrip, came together for an insightful discussion on a panel hosted by YourStory’s Daily Dispatch.

According to a World Travel and Tourism Council report, the travel industry has contributed $9.2 trillion to the global economy before the pandemic. However, in 2020 there was a significant drop in 49.1%, rising to more $4.5 trillion in lost revenue. Research suggests that this year’s contribution could reach $8.6 trillionwhich is only 6.4% lower than in the pre-pandemic period.

“The other factor that started to play in parallel was this Russian-Ukrainian situation which led to an increase in oil prices…if that hadn’t happened and oil was where it was two years ago months, the industry would see all-time highs on all fronts,” says Aloke.

After the pandemic, rising oil prices are the airline industry’s biggest concern. After Russia invaded Ukraine, oil prices reached 14 year highs. As a result, airlines had to increase their fares.

Himank, on the other hand, believes that the demand for bookings is extremely high and all they need to do is focus on maintaining a stable supply. Due to the high fares, people are rescheduling rather than canceling their tickets. People’s desires have shifted from discounts and lower ticket prices to sanitization and safety.

According to Aloke, train ticket bookings have exceeded pre-COVID levels, with almost 2.7 million people who buy reserved tickets every day.

He says that despite the higher airfares, EaseMyTrip is seeing a monthly increase in bookings, especially on domestic flights. With things becoming less unpredictable than they used to be, the booking window is expanding from zero to three days to around thirty days.

“For domestic travellers, Goa, Kashmir, Himachal and Jaipur continue to dominate the overall sentiments and interests of domestic travellers,” says Himank.

Domestic travel bookings increased by 40%, according to Himank. He says international travel to places like Dubai, the Maldives, the US, UK and Australia is on the rise 30% month after month compared to last year.

According to Himank, the resumption of international flights, the assurance of getting a full refund on cancellations, the assurance of safety and sanitation, will act as a boom for the industry.

Aloke and Himank closed the discussion by emphasizing that all travel and tourism businesses should focus on create value for customers and do travel hassle free for them rather than worrying about the uncertainties of space.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti